Indian company Adani has just secured federal environmental approval to build what could be one of Australia’s biggest coal mines, the $16.5 billion Carmichael project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved the 60 million tonne per year operation, which includes six open-cut pits and five underground mines, subject to 36 conditions mostly aimed at protecting groundwater.
The project also includes a 189 kilometre rail line and is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction.
Lower coal prices have put pressure on Australia’s coal sector, with many operations cutting jobs and looking to implement cost saving programs to improve international competitiveness.
At full export capacity the mine could provide electricity for up to 100 million people in India and is estimated to contribute $2.97 billion to Queensland’s economy each year for the next 60 years, Hunt said.
“The project has a lifetime resource value of at least $300 billion, and will enhance economic development opportunities throughout the region through indirect employment and training, and contract and supply opportunities,” he said.
Adani secured state approval for the project in May.
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