Adani’s controversial Queensland coal mine is going ahead

(Michael Masters / Getty Images)
  • Mining company Adani today announced that it’s proceeding with a scaled-back version of its Carmichael coal mine.
  • The announcement follows years of controversy, legal delays and opposition from environmental groups.
  • Adani CEO Lucas Dow said the project will be entirely self-funded. Construction is expected to begin before the end of the year.

Mining company Adani confirmed today that construction is about to begin on its Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.

Following years of legal battles and opposition from environmental groups, Adani CEO Lucas Dow said the company will proceed with a scaled-back expansion of the mine.

The project “will be 100% financed through the Adani Group’s resources,” Dow said.

Construction work may commence before the end of the year, pending the completion of some final regulatory approvals.

“This process is expected to be complete and provided by the Governments in the next few weeks,” the company said.

Dow said the revised plan “de-risks the initial stage of the Carmichael mine and rail project, by adopting a narrow gauge rail solution combined with a reduced ramp up volume for the mine”.

“We will now begin developing a smaller open cut mine comparable to many other Queensland coal mines.”

The company plans to gradually ramp up output to around 27.5 million tonnes per year — down from the initial target of around 60 million tonnes.

Capital expenditure for the revised mine is forecast to be around $2 billion, and it’s expected to be in full production and exporting coal by 2020.

While the Carmichael coal mine is now officially going ahead, it’s likely to remain in the political spotlight leading up to next year’s federal election.

Back in March, opposition leader Bill Shorten declared outright that he doesn’t support the project.

Adani said the project will create more than 1,500 jobs during the lead-up and construction phase.

“We have worked tirelessly to clear the required hurdles,” Dow said.

“Given we meet the same environmental standards and operate under the same regulations as other miners, we expect that Adani Mining will be treated no differently than any other Queensland mining company.”