India’s Adani Enterprises is preparing to develop its US$16.5 billion Carmichael coal project in Australia after clearing a number of legal hurdles.
"We will start construction of the project by October and first coal will come out in March 2020," Adani Enterprises chairman Gautam Adani said last week.
The Indian company has already invested US$2.7 billion at the port of Abbot Point and in preparatory work for the Carmichael mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
Adani decided to move ahead with this project after it cleared two more legal hurdles last week.
A federal court in Brisbane dismissed appeals filed by environmentalists and a traditional landowner against the venture.
The Australian Conservation Foundation had challenged an earlier ruling that upheld the approval to the coal mine project, while landowner Adrian Burragubba asked the court to review the Native Title Tribunal’s decision to allow the mine to proceed.
The Carmichael project consists of developing coal fields in the EPC1690 block and the eastern part of the EPC1080 block in north Galilee basin in Queensland, with both open cut and underground mining, and building mine infrastructure and associated mine processing facilities and offsite infrastructure.
The development plan includes construction of 189-km rail line from Clermont to connect with the existing Aurizon rail line near Moranbah to transport the produced coal to Port on Abbot Point and Port of Hay Point (Dudgeon Point Expansion).
The coal mining project is to be designed with a capacity to produce 60 million tonnes per year thermal coal for a period of 90 years.
A large part of the produced coal would be exported to India and other Asian countries. The Carmichael block is estimated to have 10 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
The Australian federal government and Queensland provincial government had earlier given environmental clearance for the coal mining and associated rail line project, with around 190 strict environmental and social conditions.
They include protection to landholders, local flora, groundwater resources, surface water and air quality as well as controls on dust and noise.
This project is considered to be the largest coal mining project in Australia.