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Mining leases approved for Adani’s project in Australia

Mining leases approved for Adani’s project in Australia
Indian mining giant Adani on Sunday moved one step closer to realising its 21.7 billion dollars coal mine in Australia after the local government granted three mining leases for the controversy-hit project. Queensland minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham approved the individual lease grant for 70441 Carmichael, 70505 Carmichael East and 70506 Carmichael North, which are estimated to contain 11 billion tonnes of thermal coal, media reports said.

According to state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the approval had undergone "extensive government and community scrutiny" and were a step towards securing jobs for region, with more than 5,000 jobs expected to be generated during construction and more than 4,000 during operation. "I know the people of north and central Queensland will welcome this latest progress for the potential jobs and economic development it brings closer for their communities," she said.

She said "stringent conditions would continue to protect the environment, landholders' and traditional owners' interests and Great Barrier Reef". Lynham confirmed no dredging at Abbot Point would take place until Adani had demonstrated financial closure. Over 200 conditions apply to the project which, if it goes ahead, would be the largest coal mine in Australia.

"The mine's environmental authority had about 140 conditions to protect local flora and fauna, groundwater and surface water resources, as well as controls on dust and noise," Lynham said adding, "A further 99 stringent and wide-ranging conditions apply to the rail and port elements of the project." The project now has 19 permits and approvals at all three levels of government, including nine primary approvals from the state and federal government. "A number of other steps have to be completed before mine construction can start," Lynham said. "They include secondary approvals for rail, port facilities, power, water, roadworks and the airport and a financial assurance with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

"The independent Coordinator-General will continue to work with Adani to progress the project," he said. The latest approvals have come after Adani secured final environmental approval and had reached an agreement on compensation with a landholder last month. Adani's plan to build one of the world's biggest coal mines in Australia has been hampered time and again. A federal court in August last year had revoked the original approval due to environmental concerns.

In October last year, the project got a new lease of life after the Australian government gave its re-approval. Welcoming the latest approvals, Adani said, "The granting of a mining lease helps deliver the company certainty with respect to timelines, while moving to the next phase of the project, subject to the resolution of legal challenges by politically-motivated activists."

"This decision is appalling. The Great Barrier Reef is World Heritage-listed because it is a natural wonder of the world, and right now its most pristine areas are suffering from bleaching because the waters are too warm."  Moira Williams, campaigner with 350 Australia, said, "As global temperatures hit terrifying levels and the Reef turns a deathly white, the absurdity of Anastacia Paluszczuk s Government approving this monstrous coal project cannot be understated."
PTI

PTI

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