India’s Adani Enterprises looks set to finalise the coal mine project deal in Queensland despite of community opposition.
Company chairman and billionaire Gautam Adani said the $21 billion Carmichael coal project is awaiting final approvals from the Australian government by June. The development can begin as soon as three months after the finalisation, Adani confirmed.
“We need just about three months from there to actually begin the work on the mine. Which means we can kickstart work from August this year,” Adani told The Press Trust of India.
Last week, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Adani’s home port with a group of regional mayors to discuss the project. “I have indicated very clearly by coming here and being accompanied by eight mayors how important this project is for regional Queensland jobs,” Palaszczuk told the press during the visit. “Not just coal, we’re here to look at the agribusiness and also the solar.”
The project will create more than 10,000 jobs over 50 to 60 years, according to the company. “Our mining contractors, and the rail and port construction contractors, will be the major employers during the construction and operational stages,” said Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj in December.
The project has received legal challenges and criticisms from various Australian groups. For the last six years, Adani said there had been more than 10 appeals to the project, including the Australian Conservation Foundation’s case for environmental protection and an Indigenous traditional land owner’s argument to determination.
90 prominent Australians have also signed an open letter against the project, including author Richard Flanagan, former cricket athletes Ian and Greg Chappell, former senator Christine Milne, and Telstra chief John Mullen. The letter argues that the coal mine will exacerbate coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef and create a “public health disaster”.