MELBOURNE: Adani Enterprises on Thursday received the go-ahead to start construction of a controversial coal mine in outback Australia, after a state government approved a final permit on ground water management.
The Carmichael mine has been a lightning rod for climate change concerns in Australia, and was seen as a factor in the surprise return to power of the conservative Liberal/National coalition in a national election in May.
First acquired by Adani in 2010, the project is slated to produce 8-10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year and cost up to $1.5 billion, but has been mired in court battles and opposition from green groups.
“In two years’ time people should be expecting we have exported our first piece of coal,” Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow told reporters, adding that construction work would begin within weeks.
Conservation groups expressed disappointment with the decision and vowed to continue fighting the development.
Adani has scaled back initial plans for a 60 million tonne a year mine and has said that it will self-fund the project, backed by ready buyers in its own Indian power plants and its trading business.
“Adani will never happen,” Prof. Peter Newman at Curtin University’s Sustainability Institute said. “Government app-roval does not mean they have a marketable product.” —Reuters...