MELBOURNE: Adani Enterprises may walk away from its proposal to build one of the world’s biggest coal mines in Australia, citing long delays caused by legal challenges to the project brought by environmental groups.
The Adani group is battling multiple legal challenges from green groups opposed to its $10-billion (around Rs 67,000-crore) Carmichael mine, rail and port project.
The Australian on Saturday reported that the company’s founder and chairman, Gautam Adani, had told the newspaper that the company may abandon the project because of long delays arising out of legal challenges. “You can’t continue just holding. I have been really disappointed that things have got too delayed,” Adani told the publication.
Australia’s Queensland state government in April gave Adani Enterprises permission to mine coal reserves estimated at 11 billion tonnes and build roads, workshops, power lines and pipelines associated with the mine.
Environmentalists, however, are still fighting the approval on numerous fronts, including lobbying banks not to provide loans. They cite potential damage from port dredging, shipping and climate change stoked by coal from the mine.
With coal prices stuck near nine-year lows and demand growth uncertain as governments have committed to curb carbon emissions, analysts have said lenders will be reluctant to back Adani’s mega coal project.
Adani, which aims to start building the Carmichael mine in 2017, expects to be able to go ahead eventually, as most of the coal is slated to go to its own power stations in India.