Mining leases approved for Adani’s project in Australia

  • PTI, Melbourne
  • Updated: Apr 03, 2016 15:35 IST
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.

Adani’s controversy-hit 21.7 billion dollars coal mine project in Australia today won three mining leases, but the Indian mining giant said final decision on investment will be taken only after the conclusion of “politically-motivated” legal challenges against one of the world’s largest mines.

Queensland minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham approved the individual lease grant for 70441 Carmichael, 70505 Carmichael East and 70506 Carmichael North, which are estimated to contain 11 billion tonnes of thermal coal.

According to state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the approval had undergone “extensive government and community scrutiny” and were a step towards securing jobs for region, with more than 5,000 jobs expected to be generated during construction and more than 4,000 during operation.

“I know the people of north and central Queensland will welcome this latest progress for the potential jobs and economic development it brings closer for their communities,” she said.

She said “stringent conditions would continue to protect the environment, landholders’ and traditional owners’ interests and Great Barrier Reef”.

Lynham confirmed no dredging at Abbot Point would take place until Adani had demonstrated financial closure.

Over 200 conditions apply to the project which, if it goes ahead, would be the largest coal mine in Australia.

“The mine’s environmental authority had about 140 conditions to protect local flora and fauna, groundwater and surface water resources, as well as controls on dust and noise,” Lynham said adding, “A further 99 stringent and wide-ranging conditions apply to the rail and port elements of the project.”

The project now has 19 permits and approvals at all three levels of government, including nine primary approvals from the state and federal government.

“A number of other steps have to be completed before mine construction can start,” Lynham said.

“They include secondary approvals for rail, port facilities, power, water, roadworks and the airport and a financial assurance with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

“The independent Coordinator-General will continue to work with Adani to progress the project,” he said.

Welcoming the latest approvals, Adani said, “The granting of a mining lease helps deliver the company certainty with respect to timelines, while moving to the next phase of the project, subject to the resolution of legal challenges by politically-motivated activists.”

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