Adani Wins Final Approval To Begin Work On Australia Coal Mine Project

Adani Coal chief executive Lucas Dow

After nine years of planning, negotiations and protests, Adani's controversial Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin has received its final environmental approvals from the Queensland Government.

Queensland's environment department has signed off on the plan to manage groundwater on and around Adani's Galilee Basin mine site. The controversial coal mine project, known as the Carmichael mine, has been fiercely debated for almost a decade amid concerns about climate change. This includes relevant reviews by Australia's pre-eminent scientific organisations Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Geoscience Australia.

The finch management plan and the groundwater plan were the two persisting stumbling blocks on the path of the company before it begin work on the largest coal mine project in Australia. These preparatory actions will enable it to then start construction activities including fencing, bridge and road upgrades, water management and civil earthworks on the mine site. But the approval to take river water does not impact Adani's ability to start mine construction. But the mine has been scaled back significantly and it is now expected to create "1,500 direct and 6,750 indirect jobs", the company says. Alongside are those advocating job creation and activists who are pointing towards the environmental degradation the project will bring.

According to the StopAdani movement, it will increase maritime traffic over the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area by 500 more coal ships annually, for six decades.

The state environment department was satisfied Adani had established the main aquifer that feeds the ancient Doongmabulla Springs Complex, near the edge of the mining lease. "Coal is the number one driver of the climate crisis in Australia, which is exacerbating droughts all over the country".

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He said: "We anticipate at least a 12-month delay to Adani's target of first coal exports, approximately two years from the commencement of construction, predominantly associated with delays in the construction of rail".

"DES has required additional commitments from Adani to undertake further scientific work over the next two years", the spokesperson said. Underground mining is scheduled to start in year 10 of the project.

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the approval from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science for the Adani Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan.

"The government conceded it did not properly consider more than 2000 public submissions from Australians with concerns about the mine and the water scheme", she said.

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