Adani's mine project: India conveys disappointment to Aus

Last Updated 11 August 2015, 09:34 IST

India has conveyed its disappointment to Australia over the derailing of mining giant Adani's controversial 16.5 billion dollar project in Queensland on issues relating to environment.

Indian High Commissioner Navdeep Suri today said the matter was discussed with Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb during a trade and investment meeting held recently.

"We did speak about the Adani Carmichael project in Queensland and I shared our disappointment over recent developments," Suri told PTI.

Stating that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was also in favour of the Indian mining giant's Australian project, Suri said, "we hope that the outstanding issues can be resolved speedily and to mutual satisfaction."

On a query if the Adani's project issue could dent bilateral relations, Suri stressed the relationship with Australia was not dependent on a single issue.

"I should emphasize that it is not a single-issue relationship. Over the years, the ties with Australia have become truly multi-faceted," Suri said.

However, he said the success of a major Indian investment like the Carmichael project could "potentially serve as a strong catalyst for other investors and that the Australian side was fully aware of this".

Referring to bilateral ties, Suri said the relations include active cooperation in areas ranging from education and skills to defence and intelligence.

"High level visits by the ministers of education and defence and by the Attorney General are expected within the next few weeks to take some of these elements forward. This is the sign of a mature relationship," he said.

The founder of Adani Mining Gautam Adani was among top Indian businessmen who travelled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first official visit to Australia last year.

Approval for Adani's Carmichael coal mine was set aside last week after the Federal Court ruled Environment Minister Greg Hunt had not properly considered advice about two threatened species – the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

In response to the court order, Abbott said he was "frustrated" by the ruling and "I think increasingly people could become angry with this outcome".

"This is a very important project, not just for Australia, but for the wider world," Abbott had said.

Abbott said Adani had already invested about 3 billion dollars in Australia and coal from the project would "power up the lives of 100 million people in India".

"(It's) absolutely vital that we get these projects right. But once they are fully complying with high environmental standards, let them go ahead," Abbott said.

The project to build one of world's largest coal mines and expanding a port on the Great Barrier Reef- the largest coral reef system - is opposed by green groups and residents.

(Published 11 August 2015, 09:34 IST)

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