Giant Adani coal mine approved by Australia despite green protests


Adani Enterprises has received environmental approval from the Australian federal government to develop the $16.5bn Carmichael coal mine and a linked rail project in Queensland state.

The government’s decision has appalled environmentalists who have been vehemently protesting that the development of the mine would prove an environmental disaster and threaten the Great Barrier Reef , a world heritage area.

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, however, assured Greenpeace Australia Pacific that the approval for the project was subject to 36 stringent conditions that have complemented those imposed by the Queensland state government, and that would ensure that the developers met the highest environmental standards.

The approval is, however, good news for Adani on multiple fronts. For one, the proposed coal mine is touted to be the largest in Australia and among the largest in the world.

Given the group’s presence in shipping, port development and power, the go-ahead for the new development bodes well for its ‘pit to plug’ strategy.

The Carmichael mine is estimated to produce 60m tonnes of thermal coal annually through both open-cut and underground mining; and have a lifetime of around 90 years.

The coal will primarily be exported to India through Abbot Point, the most northerly deepwater coal port of Australia , situated 25 km north of Bowen , Queensland . The port will be linked to the mine through a 189-km long private rail link developed by Adani.

The project will generate 2,475 construction jobs, and a further 3,920 jobs during its operation; and is expected to contribute A$2.97bn ($2.79bn) to the Queensland economy each year.

The coal from Australia will go towards providing electricity to about 100m people in India, where coal production of 560m tonnes per annum (tpa) has been lagging behind demand of 720m tpa.

Movement of locally mined coal is limited by the absence of rail linkages. This is a long-pending problem which is sought to be at least partially solved by the provision, in the recently announced Rail Budget for 2014-15, of one point of linkage.

Source from : Seatrade Global