Australian govt nod for Adani project

Australian govt nod for Adani project

After a long back and forth, the Australian government has approved Adani Group’s Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project, which entails an investment of over $16 billion.

“The Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project has been approved under national environment law subject to 36 strict conditions,” the Australian Department of the Environment said in a note on its website.

The decision by Environment Minister Greg Hunt removes one hurdle for Adani to proceed with the stalled project in the undeveloped Galilee Basin that could generate billions of dollars in export revenues for Australia.

Shares of Adani Enterprises closed at 96.75 at the BSE on Thursday, up 14.02 per cent. But analysts said it would be hard to justify the project at a time when coal prices are mired at an eight-year low.

Adani, which wants to ship 40 million tonnes of coal a year in the mine’s first phase, declined to comment Thursday on when it aims to start producing, previously targeted for late 2017. The company has battled opposition from green groups since starting work on the project five years ago. A court in August temporarily blocked progress on the mine following a claim Adani failed to take into account the welfare of the yakka skink and ornamental snake.

Hunt said the reissued environmental permit imposed conditions including improving the habitat of an endangered finch, protecting groundwater, and providing A$1 million for conservation research.

The approval follows a rigorous environmental assessment undertaken by the Queensland Coordinator-General under the One-Stop Shop assessment bilateral process.

The previous decision to approve the project was set aside at the request of the Australian Government in August 2015 as a precautionary measure.

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