Adani Enterprises has received the final key government approval for its Carmichael Coal Project in Queensland. The project has been plagued by ongoing court cases and protests from environmentalists with a new challenge launched this week by traditional owners of the land.
In April, the Queensland Government gave Adani permission to mine coal reserves estimated at 11 billion tonnes. The mine is part of a $16.5 billion project that includes constructing a railway line of nearly 389km and developing a port for overseas shipments.
However, it faced several hurdles as environmental groups sought legal recourse to review the state approvals, citing concerns about carbon pollution and climate change. Most of the coal from the mine is set to fuel power stations in India which seeks to connect all of the country to an electricity grid.
On Monday, the Queensland Government said the planned mine had now secured all major state and federal government approvals. The latest approval was for 31.5km of permanent rail line to service the planned mine, according to a statement on the Queensland Government website.
“This is another key milestone for the project, which Adani has confirmed will start construction next year,” said Queensland state development minister Anthony Lynham.
According to a Reuters report, Adani plans to start construction work next year. The report quoted Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj: “There will be early works we plan to start in the June quarter and we would want to start the main works from the last quarter of the year.”
In August, the project received a major shot in the arm after the Australian Federal Court rejected an environmental group’s challenges. The court also turned down another application of the traditional owners belonging to the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) communities.
This week the W&J opponents of the mine have been to the Queensland Court of Appeal to dispute the State mining minister’s approval, their fourth simultaneous legal challenge to the project.