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Australia approves Adani coal project

Posted on Jul 28 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, July 28 : The Adani Group was Monday accorded approval by the Australian government for its USD 16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine project in central Queensland.

The project in the Galilee Basin, which will become Australia's largest coal mine, is expected to provide electricity for up to 100 million people in India

"This outstanding project will drive economic growth and create more than 6,000 jobs in Australia. It will also boost India's development by providing electricity to an estimated 100 million Indians," Australia's High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling said in a statement here.

"Australia wants to work with major companies like Adani to ensure that we continue to attract investment and unlock our economic potential," Suckling added.

The Carmichael project to be developed by Adani Mining involves open cut and underground coal mining in the north Galilee Basin which will produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal per year as well as lead to development of 189 km of new rail infrastructure.

The project has an estimated 60-year resource value of USD 300 billion and at full production is projected to add USD 2.97 billion to Queensland economy each year, the Australian High Commission said.

Coal will be taken via a new rail line to the port of Abbot Point where Adanis will build a coal export terminal. Five million tonnes of seabed will be dug up and dumped within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in order to expand Abbot Point port.

The approval was announced by Australia's Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who said strict conditions imposed on the project will ensure protection of environment.

"After undertaking a thorough assessment and consideration under national environment law, I have approved the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Infrastructure project, subject to 36 strict conditions," Hunt said.

The Indian company will be required to ensure at least 730 megalitres of water are returned to the environment every year for five years.

Adanis are also required to monitor the condition of groundwater, offset the impact of cleared habitat and assess the impact to threatened species.

Commenting on the decision, Adani chairman Gautam Adani said: "We welcome the minister's approval of the Carmichael mine and rail project, which takes us another step closer to delivering our multi-billion dollar mine, rail and port development."

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