Standard Chartered, Adani sever ties on Aus mine project

Standard Chartered, Adani sever ties on Aus mine project

Adani and the Standard Chartered bank have severed their ties, marking the second big bank to walk away from the Indian mining giant's controversial 16 billion dollar coal mine project in Australia, a week after a federal court revoked its environmental approval for the venture, which could have become one of the world's biggest.

The development puts the Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland in further doubt. Commonwealth Bank, Australia's largest lender, quit its role as financial adviser last week.

Adani spokesperson said the conglomerate has requested the termination of Standard Chartered's financial advisory role, on the basis of Adani's own concerns over ongoing delays to a now five-year-long approval process in Australia.

Noting that the company valued the partnership with Standard Chartered, a statement by the firm said that "as Standard Chartered has noted, the delays experienced by Adani in receipt of its project approvals informed the decision."

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.

"In the event Australia's federal approvals framework is not further undermined by activists seeking to exploit legal loopholes, enabling the project and the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment it would bring to be delivered, Adani would happily work with the bank in future," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered yesterday said the decision to quit the role of financial advisor was mutual.

"As a result of this ongoing review by Standard Chartered and the delays experienced by Adani in receipt of its project approvals, both parties have agreed to end the bank's role in the Carmichael project," said Standard Chartered, one of the UK's largest banks, which does most of its business in Asia.

The news has been welcomed by a member of Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J), the traditional owners of the land slated for the mine in Qeensland's Galilee Basin.

"We congratulate Standard Charted for ending its role in Adani's Carmichael coal project," said Adrian Burragubba, a spokesperson for W&J.

Green activists have criticised the controversial project, arguing it could hurt marine life in the Great Barrier Reef because the coal would have to be shipped out of a nearby port.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific also welcomed Standard Chartered's statement and said the Adani project was a "massive reputational risk for even the world's most powerful banks".

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