Adani wants opposition to its coal mine in Australia to be over by law

Adani wants opposition to its coal mine in Australia to be over by law

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.

Fed-up with relentless opposition to its $15bn (A$16.5bn) Carmichael Coal mine and rail project in Australia, Indian mining giant Adani is asking authorities to stop entertaining objections to the mine.

The move comes as the approval of the project, already 18 months behind schedule because of green groups concerns, is facing a new legal challenge in a federal court, filed last month by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

What the group wants, The Economic Times reports, is a special law banning activists from seeking judicial review of environmental approvals already granted by the Australian authorities.

“You cannot continuously challenge the project," chairman Gautam Adani was quoted as saying. He added that the company needed an indisputable and final go-ahead for the project, considered Australia’s largest thermal coal project ever.

Designed to eventually produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, Carmichael has been the focus of opposition by organizations ranging from the United Nations to green groups fighting new coal projects in the area. They argue the project would damage the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

The proposed mine and railway, however, has been reviewed several times ever since the first concerns emerged.

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

According to official estimations Carmichael will contribute $2.97bn each year to Queensland’s economy and has the potential to create 6,400 new jobs: around 2,500 construction positions and 3,900 operational posts.

Based on those projections, Adani argues that the project is “very important” for both India and Australia. “It’s the world’s largest coal reserve and it will provide electricity to a minimum 100 million people for 100 years,” Gautam Adani said.