Adani confirms work halted at controversial coal project by the Great Barrier Reef

Adani confirms work halted at controversial coal project by the Great Barrier Reef

Adani's Carmichael project has been the focus of opposition by organizations ranging from the United Nations to green groups fighting new coal projects in the environmentally sensitive area.

Indian conglomerate Adani Mining has halted preparatory engineering work on its debated Carmichael project in Queensland, Australia, one of the world’s biggest untapped thermal coal deposits.

The company, which cited uncertainty and delays in approvals, said that despite the challenges it remains committed to the project, which has been at the centre of an ongoing the battle among environmentalists, the company and the fossil fuel industry.

“As a result of changes to a range of approvals . . . it’s necessary to synchronize our budget, project timelines and spending to meet those changes,” the miner said in a statement.

"It is important to note we are now into the fifth year of development and approvals and therefore the need to finalize those approvals and timelines is critical," it added.

Adani confirms work halted at controversial coal project by the Great Barrier Reef

Map from the Queensland's Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning website.

But the Queensland government denied Thursday any responsibility on the delays, adding that —to date— all state regulatory processes have been completed to schedule, as reported by The Guardian.

Adani has signed up buyers for about 70% of the 40 million tonnes coal the Carmichael project is due to produce in its first phase, with production expected to begin in late 2017.

The massive project is mainly waiting for on environmental approval to deepen Abbot Point port on the fringe of Australia' Great Barrier Reef in order to ship the coal, a proposal generating opposition worldwide.

An earlier plan to dump 3 million cubic metres of soil dredged at the port of Abbot Point into the sea about 25 km (15 miles) from the Great Barrier Reef was rejected.