Adani Aust edges closer to mine construction start
THE $16.5b Carmichael Mine project in Central Queensland remains in a holding pattern as Adani Australia waits for final clearance to proceed.
The main issues delaying the construction phase include securing land tenure over the mine site - following a court decision in Adani's favour - and locking in finance for the rail line to the Abbott Point coal port.
Earlier this month the Federal Court ruled for Adani over a native title group that had been seeking to block its coal mine in the Galilee Basin but land tenure still needs to be granted by the State Government.
The court ruling (Justice John Reeves also ordered the indigenous group to pay the mining company's costs) confirms native title has been extinguished by the indigenous land use agreement (ILUA) between Adani Australia and the Wangan and Jagalingou people.
"We welcome the decision of the federal court in upholding the validity of the Wangan and Jagalingou People Indigenous Land Use Agreement process," Adani said in a statement.
"Following(the) decision we look forward to working with the state government and the traditional owners to take the next steps in order to finalise land tenure for our project,"
It's believed the State can now move on the tenure process even though the native title decision may go to yet another appeal.
Security of tenure would allow Adani to start mine construction.
Adani has finished the bulk of its engineering for the rail line and is working on preparation for the mine site, airport and accommodation camp which are all caught up in the land tenure issue.
The Wagner Group from Toowoomba has already won the tender to build the $30m fly-in fly-out airport which has being funded by Rockhampton and Townsville councils as part of an agreement with Adani which guarantees 1700 mine jobs (construction and mine operation) for Rockhampton region residents.
Adani Australia has secured finance for its mine but says it's still in the final stages of securing funding for its rail line through international finance sources.
Funding for the rail line was delayed when the Qld Government decided during last year's State election to veto a proposed Adani application for a Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility loan which forced Adani to look elsewhere for a loan.
Last week Adani Mining CEO, Lucas Dow, addressed "the myths and mysteries" on the Carmichael Project at the North Queensland Club lunch in Townsville.
"There are many misconceptions about the Carmichael Project's viability, operations and environmental impact that anti-mining activists had taken out of context, which need to be addressed," Mr Dow said.
"In addition to preparing for construction commencement, I'm keen to cut through the mystery and myths, and explain how the project stacks up economically, operationally and environmentally, with significant benefits that will flow directly into the Queensland economy.
"Market expert predict Asian thermal coal imports will grow by 3.4% per year or 32 Mt per annum to 2030, this demonstrates there is a market for the coal we will produce."
Mr Dow said the Carmichael Project was focused on key markets with increasing energy demand such as India, China, the Middle East and South East Asia.
"240 million Indian people still lack access to electricity and by 2030 there will be over 850 million Indian people wanting to use the internet. Renewables is part of the solution but it won't be enough to meet the rapid increase in energy demand.
"With the Carmichael Project, Queensland is ideally positioned to reap the economic benefits of this demand, ahead of other countries like Russia and the United States who are ready to supply the coal to fill this gap."