Australian government today cleared the proposed Carmichael coal mine project of the Indian conglomerate Adani Mining in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. This is expected to provide electricity for up to 100 million people in India.
The approval was announced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who said "after undertaking a thorough assessment and consideration under national environment law, I have approved the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Infrastructure project, subject to 36 strict conditions".
"The absolute strictest of conditions have been imposed to ensure the protection of the environment, with a specific focus on the protection of groundwater.
"These 36 conditions complement the conditions imposed by the Queensland Government, and will ensure the proponent meets the highest environmental standards and that all impacts, including cumulative impacts, are avoided, mitigated or offset," Hunt said.
Hailing the decision, Adani Chairman, Gautam Adani said: " We welcome the Minister’s approval of the Carmichael Mine and Rail project, which takes us another step closer to delivering our multi–billion dollar mine, rail and port development".
Hunt said a rigorous, open and thorough environmental assessment process was undertaken to take account of the public interest in the project and that he visited the proposed site to better understand the project and met with the local community to understand their views.
The project, which was proposed and advanced under the previous state and federal ALP Governments, is estimated to have a resource value of USD 5 billion per annum over 60 years.
At full export capacity, the project is expected to contribute almost USD 930 million to the Mackay region’s gross regional product and USD 2.97 billion to the Queensland economy each year for the next 60 years.
It will generate an estimated 2475 construction jobs and a further 3920 jobs during the operations phase, he said.
The project has a life time resource value of at least USD 300 billion, and will enhance economic development opportunities throughout the region through indirect employment and training, and contract and supply opportunities.
It is estimated the project will provide electricity for up to 100 million people in India, Hunt added.