Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval

THE Queensland government yesterday approved three Adani mining leases for its $21.7 billion Carmichael mine and rail project in the state’s Galilee Basin but environmentalists claim that it would further damage the Great Barrier Reef.
Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval Carmichael gets Qld govt mining approval

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Source: Annastacia Palaszczuk)

Lou Caruana

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

The 60Mtpa project will be made up of a greenfield coal mine over EPC1690 and the eastern portion of EPC1080, which includes both open cut and underground mining, mine infrastructure and associated mine processing facilities and offsite infrastructure.

The Indian giant hopes to start production on the project next despite still not securing its funding after the Commonwealth Bank pulled out.

There will be no direct investment by the Queensland government in the project, which would create 5000 jobs during construction and 4000 during operation.

An Adani spokesman 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.

“Adani has consistently said that what is required for its projects to proceed is certainty on approvals.

“This key approval helps provide that with respect to Carmichael.”

Queensland Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk said: “This is a major step forward for this project after extensive government and community scrutiny.

“Some approvals are still required before construction can start, and ultimately

committing to the project will be a decision for Adani.

“However, 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.

“At the same time, stringent conditions will continue to protect the environment, landholders’ and traditional owners’ interests, and our iconic Great Barrier Reef.”

Adani previously sought to progress to the construction phase in 2015 but was thwarted by court challenges from environmentalists.

Carmichael 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.”

The Australian Conservation Foundation's chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said the project poses an enormous threat to the reef, amid one of its worst coral bleaching events on record, according to the Brisbane Times.