Adani Group’s decision to 100 per cent finance Adani Mining’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Group) Carmichael mine and rail project made headlines when it was announced by Adani Mining CEO Lucas Down in Central Queensland last week, causing community backlash and a stirring response from plenty of environmentalists who are determined to make sure the project does not go ahead.
The announcement was made to community leaders, mining industry contractors and suppliers at the Bowen Basin Mining Club luncheon in Mackay and follows recent changes to simplify construction and reduce the initial capital requirements for the Carmichael Project.
The proposed Carmichael Mine is an open-cut and underground coal mine positioned in the Galilee Basin, approximately 160-kilometres north-west of Clermont.
Originally Adani planned to build a 60-million tonne per annum coal mine and a 388-kilometre, standard gauge rail line to export facilities at Abbot Point. They ditched this idea after not receiving outside financing and now aim to build Carmichael with (an estimated) total yield of 27.5-million tonnes per annum, supported by a 189-kilometre narrow-gauge railway line which would be connected to Aurizon’s existing Central Queensland Coal Network.
The project is expected to create up to 1,464 jobs in total, including construction and operational jobs, with thousands of indirect jobs.
Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, Ian Macfarlane, said that Adani Group’s $16.5 billion investment in the project was a sign of the strength of the Queensland resources sector.
“This is great news for Queensland and great news for regional Queensland in particular because every new resources project benefits all of us,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Adani has shown it is committed for the long-term for an investment that will create jobs now and decades into the future,” he added.
Yet, even though Adani has most primary approvals secured, such as relevant federal approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth) and Environmental Approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (QLD), there are several conditions that the project still needs to meet.
The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland has stated that Adani still needs to meet its Black-throated Finch Species Management Plan and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan – both of which need state and federal approval.
The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners have also made several statements which voice their decision to oppose the Carmichael Mine.
“It is a measure of Adani’s failure that they can’t obtain finance for the project they touted to our people. We rejected it when they first came to us and we reject it now because Adani offers nothing of worth to our people and will destroy our country forever,” announced Traditional Owner and lead spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba on Thursday.
“We demand a guarantee from the Queensland Government they won’t now extinguish our native title for Adani. Queensland Labor has said they recognise that the registration of the Adani ILUA is contested, and they acknowledge and respect our right to have our complaints considered and determined by a court.”
“We have an appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court. To act before this concludes would be to deny our rights and open the way for a grave injustice. Without our consent, the mine is not ready to proceed,” he announced.
Furthermore, there is a standard process under Queensland’s regulatory framework to manage third-party requests for access to Aurizon Network’s Central Queensland Coal Network and any proposed rail connections to this network, which still needs to be approved before the Carmichael Project has the chance to go ahead.
Several celebrities, politicians and environmentalists have stepped into the spotlight and voiced their concerns on social media, most notably Australian singer Montagne writing ‘Stop Adani’ on her cheeks at the ARIA awards and Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters wearing similar Stop-Adani-themed earrings in the Senate last Thursday.