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Construction On The Massive Adani Coal Mine Will Begin In Weeks

In the same week Queensland suffers the worst bushfires in generations.

In the same week that Queensland suffers from the most intense bushfires in generations, Indian mining giant Adani has announced construction on the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland will start within weeks, despite the company’s failure to secure government funding.

Adani made the announcement this afternoon, saying the mine will be significantly smaller than first proposed, with plans to expand production in coming years.

Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow said the company will fully fund the project itself.

“Our work in recent months has culminated in Adani Group’s approval of the revised project plan that de-risks the initial stage of the Carmichael mine and rail project by adopting a narrow gauge rail solution combined with a reduced ramp up volume for the mine,” Dow said in a statement. “This means we’ve minimised our execution risk and initial capital outlay. The sharpening of the mine plan has kept operating costs to a minimum and ensures the project remains within the first quartile of the global cost curve.

Originally expected to produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year, the revised mine will now only produce one sixth of that, before ramping up to 27 million tonnes a year within a decade.

The mine has the backing of the Queensland and federal governments, due to the number of jobs it will supposedly create. Adani says the mine will create 1500 ‘direct’ jobs, and has long claimed it would create more than 10,000 jobs in total, although that number is disputed by Adani’s own experts.

Mining Lobby Group The Minerals Council has praised Adani’s decision. “The Queensland and Australian economies will benefit from thousands of new regional jobs and long-term investment in the mine and rail infrastructure,” the council’s CEO Tania Constable said in a statement.

The Adani Battle Isn’t Over

The Adani coal mine has been the subject of legal disputes and protests for years. Environmental activists say the mine will have a disastrous impact on the Great Barrier Reef — through which the coal will be shipped on its way to India — and will significantly contribute to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The traditional owners of the land on which the mine will be built, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, have long disputed Adani’s right to build the mine, which would be the first in Queensland’s Gallilee basin and would likely pave the way for several other mines to be constructed there.

Activists have targeted the mine through court challenges and campaigns against financial institutions that may have helped to fund the project. Those tactics have been successful in delaying the mine, but were always unlikely to stop it completely. The campaign against the mine will now likely focus more on “direct action”.

GetUp’s Sam Regester, who has been leading the activist group’s campaign against the mine, said today’s announcement is a ploy by Adani.

“Adani has made its announcement in a desperate attempt to pressure the Queensland Government into caving in and handing over a water licence and an Indigenous Land Use Agreement — both of which Adani need to build its climate wrecking mine,” he said in a statement. “The Queensland Government must decide if it will condemn us to more intense bushfires, heatwaves, storms and extreme weather events, or stand up for us and stop this coal mine. Federal Labor must do the same. “There are no more excuses.” “For communities across Australia, the Adani coal mine would be a disaster.”