Australian Mining Development Gets Go Ahead

A major mining development that has been proposed for Queensland has now been approved by the federal environment minister of Australia. The Carmichael Coal Mine project is now expected to go ahead, and it is now up to Adani, the Indian company proposing the project, to decide whether proceeding is financially viable.
It is believed that this could boost employment in the area significantly. According to current estimates the project, which is worth AUS$16.5 (£9.1), could result in the creation of up to 2500 jobs in the construction industry. This could be followed by the possibility of a further 3,900 jobs in operational roles. The project will include the construction of new rail infrastructure as well as of the mine.
Queensland’s local independent coordinator general previously gave his approval to the project in May. Now that Greg Hunt, federal environment minister, has added his given it the go ahead, the project has advanced significantly. According to Jeff Seeney, Australia’s Deputy Premier, the Carmichael coal mine project “has the potential to be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world.” Seeney also suggested that the project could play a key part in the opening up of the resources of the Galilee Basin. The basin is home to significant deposits of natural resources.
The decision by the federal environment minister will allow the project to go ahead but subject it to a number of significant conditions aimed at protecting the environment. In total, it will be subject to 190 conditions from the State Government and a further 36 Commonwealth conditions. Specifically, these conditions will be put in place in order to help protect the biodiversity of the area and the Great Artesian Basin’s water supplies.
As part of the efforts to protect the areas biodiversity, 28,000 hectares will be set aside to serve as a habitat for the black throated finch – a threatened species. Furthermore, Adani will need to make AUS$1 million in to a collection of funds that protect endangered species. As far as the Great Artesian Basin is concerned, the company would be required to replace 730 million litres of groundwater annually for a period of five years.
The main concern over the viability of the project from a financial standpoint is the costly process of transporting the coal to Abbot Point. It is for this purpose that the rail component of the project is proposed. Adani has already signed a deal for the construction of the rail infrastructure with Posco.
The mine that has been proposed has a total resource value of AUS$300 billion, according to estimates from the Australian Federal government. It is believed that if the project goes ahead, it will contribute nearly AUS$3 billion to Queensland’s economy.
Author: Matthew Scott