Tag: Adani mine

Carmichael mine will be self-financed, says Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 30 November: The controversial Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Queensland will be 100% financed through the Adani Group’s resources, Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow announced yesterday in Central Queensland.

The project has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups who claim carbon emissions from the mine will badly hurt the nearby iconic Great Barrier Reef, already facing destruction from global warming.

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Adani Australia CEO Lucas Dow. Photo: Adani Mining Twitter

In an Adani Mining media release, Dow says, “We have already invested $3.3 billion in Adani’s Australian businesses, which is a clear demonstration of our capacity to deliver a financing solution for the revised scope of the mine and rail project.

“The project stacks up both environmentally and financially.
“Today’s announcement removes any doubt as to the project stacking up financially,” he says.

The media release claims, “The Carmichael Project will deliver more than 1,500 direct jobs on the mine and rail projects during the initial ramp-up and construction phase, and will support thousands more indirect jobs, all of which will benefit regional Queensland communities.”

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Photo: Greenpeace Australia

Meanwhile, in a media release, the Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council says, “‘They don’t have our consent, they can’t build their mine.

“We demand a guarantee from the Queensland Government they won’t now extinguish our native title for Adani. Queensland Labor has said they recognize that the registration of the Adani ILUA is contested and they acknowledge and respect our right to have our complaints considered and determined by a court.

“We have an appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court. To act before this concludes would be to deny our rights and open the way for a grave injustice. Without our consent, the mine is not ready to proceed”.

There has sprung a strong lobby group against the mine. Their concerns are the damaging impact of the mine on the Great Barrier Reef, on groundwater at the site, greenhouse emissions, and extinction of already endangered species. Mackay Conservation Group has already won its legal challenge on the last issue.

Protesters lock themselves to machinery to halt work starting at the Adani coal mine

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 25 October: The anti-Adani coal mine stir today took a dramatic turn with several people attaching themselves to construction machinery, vowing to continue the protest against the coal mine in Central Queensland. The protest, says a media release, stopped the work for many hours.

Supported by over a dozen people, one person got attached to a front-end loader, another to an excavator and a third person attached themselves to a grader, stopping construction work.

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The protest action took place where the state development area crosses the Gregory Highway, approximately 35km / 25 minutes south of the Belyando Roadhouse.

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“I’m scared about my children’s future. I think our government is seriously underestimating the potentially devastating impacts of climate change. Now is the time to take a stand. I’m an ordinary person taking extraordinary action to stop this mine.” said, Gail Hamilton, an engineer and former council employee from Townsville.

“My granddaughter has just turned five, I’m here to Stop Adani and protect the environment and our water for her future,” said fellow protestor Susanne Rix, from the Blue Mountains.

“I could not sit idly by and let Adani begin work. This is the line in the sand for me and thousands of people from all walks of life who will take peaceful direct action to stop this mine,” said John Brinnand, a retired psychiatrist from the Sunshine Coast.

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The mine would be one of the greatest coal mines in the world, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. The Great Barrier Reef would be badly affected, already facing large-scale blenching due to rising ocean temperatures, caused by climate change.

Recent polling indicates that the majority of Australians do not support the mine. Despite this, the Queensland and Federal Governments are gearing up to hand Adani Australia a $1 billion taxpayer-subsidized loan for the project. 

All photos: Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC), Australia.

Battle lines drawn over Indian mega mine

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Murrawah Johnson, 21, of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, is among those standing in the way of the huge Carmichael coal mine project in Australia’s Queensland state. Photo courtesy of Murrawah Johnson.

By Stephen de Tarczynski

MELBOURNE, Dec 30 2016 (IPS) – Among those leading the fight against the massive Indian-owned Carmichael coal project in Australia’s Queensland state is 21-year-old Murrawah Johnson of the Wangan and Jagalingou aboriginal people, the traditional owners of the land where the proposed mine is to be located.

“Our people are the unique people from that country,” says Murrawah, whose name means ‘rainbow’ in the indigenous Gubbi Gubbi language. “That is who we are in our identity, in our culture, in our song and in our dance,” she adds.

The mine’s estimated average annual carbon emissions of 79 million tonnes are three times those of New Delhi, six times those of Amsterdam and double Tokyo’s average annual emissions.

The Wangan and Jagalingou, numbering up to 500 people, regard the Carmichael coal mine as a threat to their very existence and have repeatedly rejected the advances of Adani Mining, the company behind the project. The traditional owners argue the mine would destroy their land, which “means that our story is then destroyed. And we as a people and our identity, as well,” Murrawah, a spokesperson for her people’s Family Council, told IPS.

Adani Mining is a subsidiary of the Adani Group, an Indian multinational with operations in India, Indonesia and Australia cutting across resources, logistics, energy, agribusiness and real estate. In March, the company announced its first foray into the defence industry.

Adani’s Carmichael project envisions a 40km long, 10km wide mine consisting of six open-cut pits and five underground operating for up to sixty years. The company intends to transport the coal to India to aid in that country’s electricity needs. According to the International Energy Agency, 244 million Indians – 19 percent of the population – are without access to electricity.

Should the project go ahead, it would be the largest coal operation here – Australia is already a major coal producing and exporting nation – and among the biggest in the world, producing some 60 million tonnes of thermal coal annually at peak capacity.

But at a time when global warming is a significant threat to humanity, the Carmichael mine is generating substantial opposition. Since the project was announced in 2010, there have been more than ten appeals and judicial processes against the mine.

Shani Tager, a campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, is adamant that the coal that Adani wants to dig up must remain in the ground. “It’s a massive amount of coal that they’re talking about exporting, which will be burnt and used and make the problem of global warming even worse,” she says.

Coal-fired power plants emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, a gas that traps heat within the Earth’s atmosphere and which plays an important role in the phenomenon of human-induced climate change.

According to a 2015 report by The Australia Institute, a local think tank, Adani’s project would release more carbon into the atmosphere than many major cities and even countries.

The report states that the mine’s estimated average annual carbon emissions of 79 million tonnes are three times those of New Delhi, six times those of Amsterdam and double Tokyo’s average annual emissions. It would surpass Sri Lanka’s annual emissions and be similar to both Austria’s and Malaysia’s.

Tiny Island Nation Pleads for Global Moratorium on New Coal Mines
Despite these alarming figures, both the Australian and Queensland state governments are backing Adani’s Carmichael mine. There has been widespread speculation here that the federal government will provide support via a AUD one- billion loan (722 million U.S. dollars).

The Queensland government, anticipating a boost to jobs, the regional economy and to its own coffers as a result of royalties, announced in October that it was giving the project “critical infrastructure” status in order to fast-track its approvals.

“This Government is serious about having the Adani mine in operation. We want this to happen,” Anthony Lynham, state minister for mines, told local media at the time.

In early December, Adani received what the state government describes as the project’s “final major” approval: Adani’s rail line to the port of Abbot Point, from where the coal will be shipped to India.

In 2011, Adani signed a 99-year lease on the Abbot Point coal terminal, which sits immediately adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Australia’s iconic reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and among the most diverse and richest natural ecosystems on Earth.

In November, scientists from Queensland’s James Cook University confirmed the worst-ever die-off of corals in the reef, following a mass coral bleaching event earlier in the year. Heat stress due to high sea temperatures is the main cause of coral bleaching, with bleaching events expected to be more frequent and severe as the world’s climate warms up.

Adani plans to significantly expand the Abbot Point terminal in order to ship larger amounts of coal. This means dredging up the sea floor right next to the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Carmichael coal mine will have a domino effect of bad impacts on the reef, from driving the need for port expansion and more dredging and dumping to increasing the risk of shipping accidents on the reef,” says Cherry Muddle from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The reef’s tourism industry provides some 65,000 jobs, with numerous operators also speaking out against both the Carmichael mine and the Abbot Point expansion in recent times.

Despite Minister Lynham’s assurances that “200 stringent conditions placed on this project through its court processes” will protect the reef, others remain extremely concerned.

“Adani has a really worrying track record of environmental destruction, human rights abuses, corruption and tax evasion,” says Adam Black from GetUp, a movement which campaigns on a range of progressive issues.

Among the accusations leveled at Adani operations in India in a 2015 report by Environmental Justice Australia are the destruction of mangroves; failure to prevent salt water intrusion into groundwater; bribery and illegal iron ore exports; using political connections to purchase land cheaply; and obtaining illegal tax deductions.

Adani’s CEO in Australia, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, was in charge of a Zambian copper mine owned by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) when, in 2010, the mine discharged dangerous contaminants into the Kafue River. Found guilty, the company was fined around AUD 4,000 (2,900 U.S. dollars).

Some 1800 Zambians have since taken KCM and its UK-based parent company, Vedanta Resources, to the High Court in London, alleging they were made sick and their farmland destroyed over a ten-year period from 2004. Janakaraj was with KCM from 2008 to 2013.

Now, with Adani hoping to break ground on its Carmichael coal project in mid-2017, opponents are prepared to continue their hitherto successful campaign of dissuading potential financiers from backing the AUD 16-22 billion project (11.5-15.8 billion U.S.).

“If they can’t get the money, they can’t build the mine,” says Murrawah Johnson.

The Wangan and Jagalingou recently set up what they call a “legal line of defence” against Adani and the Queensland government, consisting of four more legal challenges, with plans to take the matter to the High Court if needs be.

They have also been in contact with the United Nations for some time.

For Murrawah, this battle is about maintaining connection with both the past and the future. “I refuse to be the broken link in that chain,” she says.

Traditional owners fight on: appeal Carmichael mine verdict

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Traditional Owners fight on: appeal Carmichael mine Federal Court decision
Brisbane, Australia. An appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court of Australia was filed today by senior Traditional Owner and spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) family council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, challenging a decision of Justice Reeves in relation to the Queensland government’s issuing of mining leases for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, handed down on 19th August 2016.
Further background to the case can be found below.
Mr Burragubba said: “We said ‘no means no’ and so we will continue to resist this damaging coal mine that will tear the heart out of our Country. The stakes are huge. In the spirit of our ancestors, we will continue to fight for justice until the project falls over.
“The decision of the Native Title Tribunal in April 2015 to allow the issuing of the mining leases by the Queensland government took away our right to free, prior and informed consent. It effectively allowed the government to override the decision that we made nearly two years ago to reject Adani’s ‘deal’,” Mr Burragubba said.
The appeal, being run by Sydney Senior Counsel Craig James Leggatt SC and other barristers working pro bono, will make two arguments: that the matters Mr Burragubba put before the National Native Title Tribunal should have been taken into account by the Tribunal member when granting the Future Act mining rights to Adani and that Justice Reeves should have found that Adani was misleading before the Tribunal.
The appeal will proceed alongside a challenge brought by Mr Burragubba and other W&J Traditional Owners in the Qld Supreme Court against the mining leases that have been issued by Queensland Minister for Mines, the Hon Dr Andrew Lynham and the Queensland government for the Carmichael mine. That case will be heard by the Qld Supreme Court in November 2016. Further legal actions are also underway in relation to Native Title matters.
Mr Burragubba said: “This is our fight as Traditional Owners and cultural custodians. We will not be talked down to by industry or government and their lackeys, and we will challenge any decision that threatens our life, culture and traditions and the social, cultural and economic structures of our group,” said Mr Burragubba.
“This is about our ancient connection to the place of our ancestors. It is a defense of our lands and waters, plants and animals against the destruction wrought by coal mining, and a demand to have our rights as the Traditional Owners respected and our voices heard.
“We are Traditional Owners who assert our right to self-determination and a future without dependency on mining. We have determined to oppose the Carmichael Mine, and to use all appropriate means to stop the destruction of our Country and culture,” Mr Burragubba said
Lawyer for Mr Burragubba, Mr Benedict Coyne, said: “My client has reviewed Justice Reeves’ reasons for the judgment, taken advice from his legal team and considered his options. Mr Burragubba brings this appeal on strong public interest grounds and in the context of other legal avenues he is pursuing for justice for his people, both domestically and internationally.
“The case raises very important issues for indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in the context of the native title system and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. There are important legal principles and principles of human rights and justice at stake,” Mr Coyne said.