Indian mining giant Adani Group’s $16.5 billion controversial Carmichael Coal Project in Queensland is edging closer to getting its mining lease after the company struck a compensation deal with a local government body.

The agreement was signed at a meeting this week of Isaac Regional Council. It recognises that part of Adani’s mining operations will be over council-controlled road and reserves.

Adani now needs to strike a similar compensation agreement for council infrastructure as well as landholders and native title holders before getting its mining lease. That will then allow the company to make formal approaches to banks for financing for the one of the world’s largest coal mines.

Mayor of Isaac council Anne Baker said Adani and council had worked closely together to ensure a way forward and a positive outcome. “Our joint focus is to responsibly deliver mutual and long-term economic benefits for the community. This compensation agreement fundamentally provides Adani with access to council roads and reserves integral to the project while maintaining public access.”

She said Queensland’s mining sector had suffered with more than 20,000 job losses over the past two years. “It’s essential our communities and our businesses benefit from the Carmichael project. Both parties are committed to commencing negotiations on the next and important step, the infrastructure agreement.

“Comprehensive maintenance agreements on existing infrastructure like road corridors are critical,” she said. “The infrastructure agreement determines the extent of infrastructure works and maintenance over the life of the mine.”

Adani CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj said, “Working together with Isaac Regional Council, the project is moving one step closer to delivering long term benefits to Queensland, while helping deliver higher quality, lower emitting coal that will help alleviate energy poverty in India.”

Adani’s plan to build the massive coal mine in Australia has been hampered a number of times.

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