Tag: Carmichael Coal Mine

Oz court revokes Adani mine’s environment approval

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Photo: Mackay Conservation Group

BY SAT News Desk

Brisbane, Wednesday 5 August 2015: India’s Adani group has received a major setback with an Australian court ruling against the environmental clearance to it’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia’s Galilee Basin. The controversial proposed Coal mine has been in the news with global investors pulling out of the project. Mr. Adani who is considered close to the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accompanied him during his last visit to Australia.

The Mackay Conservation Group has won its case against Indian giant Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine, with the Federal Court ruling today that the approval by Environment Minister Greg Hunt is invalid on environmental grounds.

The mine would have been the biggest in Australian history and the Southern Hemisphere, and among the world’s largest.

The case, launched by Mackay Conservation Group in January 2015, challenged Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of Carmichael on three grounds: that the Minister incorrectly assessed its climate impacts, ignored Adani’s poor environmental record, and failed to consider conservation advice from his own Department on the impact of the mine on two vulnerable species.

In a remarkable turn of events, Minister Hunt conceded to the Court that he failed in his duty to properly assess the Carmichael mine project in accordance with his obligations under Federal environmental legislation.

“‘It is astonishing and deeply troubling that it has taken a legal case by a small community group to bring the approval process under proper public scrutiny, and expose Minister Hunt’s dereliction of duty in fast-tracking the mine,” said Ellen Roberts, Coordinator of Mackay Conservation Group in a media release.

“The scale and impacts of this mine mean it would be the most damaging in Australian history. The proponent, Adani, has flouted the law and recklessly destroyed the environment in India. In Australia, Carmichael would be the driver for the huge coal port the company plans to build on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Given that Minister Hunt also has carriage of the port approval, what faith can the community now have that he will act appropriately to protect the Reef?”, he said.

Ellen Roberts further said, “Adani’s Carmichael mine would have ripped up precious habitat for threatened species and sucked billions of litres of precious ground water every year. The burning of the coal from the mine would have driven global warming at a time when science tells us coal reserves must be left in the ground.

Additionally, recent revelations have thrown the company’s economic and job claims into doubt.

“Adani’s job and royalties figures for the Carmichael project are fabrications,” said Ms. Roberts. “Global financial markets are backing away from new investments in coal and the Queensland Treasury has assessed the project as ‘unbankable.’”

‘There is simply no reason for this mine to go ahead. This Federal Court decision to throw out Minister Hunt’s approval is a victory for land and water, biodiversity, the global climate and also for common sense.”

‘We call now on Minister Hunt to see sense, honor his obligations, and take the opportunity to reject this disastrous project once and for all,’ he said.

Mackay Conservation Group was represented by the Environment Defenders Office of NSW.

Sue Higginson, principal solicitor of EDO NSW said, ‘the decision of the Court to set aside the Carmichael mine’s federal approval was based on a failure by the Minister to have regard to conservation advices for two Commonwealth-listed vulnerable species.

‘It is now up to the Minister to decide whether or not to approve the mine, taking into account the conservation advice and any other information on the impacts of the project.’

The case was funded by thousands of donations from the community via GetUp!

‘Without the donations of tens of thousands of Australians, there’s no way a tiny group like ours could have taken on the Federal Government or Adani. These donations show the depth of feeling in the community that Carmichael is a dud and must not go unchallenged. The people have been vindicated by the historic decision of the Federal Court.

“We and the broader community will now be closely watching Minister Hunt’s response to the decision of the Court,” said Ms. Roberts.

STATEMENT BY ADANI AUSTRALIA

Adani is committed to ensuring its mine, rail and port projects in Queensland are developed and operated in accordance with Commonwealth and State laws and regulations, including strict environmental conditions.

Adani acknowledges the Federal Environment Minister has consented to remake the July 2014 environmental approval decision for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project after a conservation group’s judicial review application.

It is regrettable that a technical legal error from the Federal Environment Department has exposed the approval to an adverse decision.

It should be noted the approval did include appropriate conditions to manage the species protection of the yakka skink and ornamental snake.

However, we have been advised that, because certain documents were not presented by the Department in finalising the approval, it created a technical legal vulnerability that is better to address now.

Adani will await the Minister and his department’s timely reconsideration of its approval application under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

Adani is confident the conditions imposed on the existing approval are robust and appropriate once the technicality is addressed.

Adani is in the fifth year of development and approvals and the need to finalise these approvals and timelines is critical so Adani and the community can realise the benefits associated with its investments to date including 10,000 jobs and $22 billion in taxes and royalties to be reinvested back into the community.

For the past six to 12 months, Adani has maintained a level of investment and project timelines based on anticipated approvals timelines and milestones.

As a result of changes to a range of approvals over that time it’s necessary our timelines and budget reflect those changes.
Wednesday 5 August 2015, www.adaniaustralia.com.au

- SAT News Service.

Adani’s Oz coal project in turmoil as SBI loan doubtful

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By SAT News Desk
Melbourne, March 14 2015 – Adani’s controversial Australian Carmichael coal mine looks to be in jeopardy following reports that the State Bank of India (SBI) is preparing to decide against giving the company a planned $1 billion loan for the project due to concerns over its financial viability. The loan deal was signed during last year’s Australian visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was criticised as a loan to a company whose head is considered close to Mr. Modi.
A Reuter report’ “SBI to turn down Adani’s $1 billion Australian loan request – sources” (March 2014) says, “State Bank of India is preparing to turn down a $1 billion loan request from Adani Enterprises intended for a coal project in Australia, scrapping an agreement signed last year, sources with direct knowledge of the move said.
The sources said India’s largest bank had not yet given Adani officials notice of the internal ruling, but they said the decision was now due to be communicated to the group.”
The story further says, “SBI, which like all Indian state banks is under pressure to reduce its bad debts, said at the time that the signed deal was simply a memorandum of understanding. It would, it said, complete proper due diligence and a project appraisal before giving out any cash.”
Reacting to the news, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said:
“State Bank of India analysts seem to have realised that this project has no future. The wider financial community has long ago recognised that the project is on shaky financial ground. It is now up to the State Bank of India to make the right decision and refuse to fund Adani’s gamble with the hard earned money of Indian taxpayers.
“We already know that Adani’s coal project represents a serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Today’s news emphasises that it is an investment black hole as well.”
Adani has struggled to secure project financing for its $16.5 billion coal mine, rail and port expansion. Major global banks, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, have already refused to fund the project due to its damaging impact on the Great Barrier Reef, currently under consideration by World Heritage Body UNESCO for inclusion on its ‘in danger’ list.
“Banks all over the world are saying no to Adani. Even analysts from Australia’s ANZ bank are saying the project is not viable. No bank should be financing the Reef’s destruction,” Casule added.
- SAT News Service.

Adani Coal mine approval: Environmentalists fume, business happy

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By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 30 July: The recent environmental approval of the proposed controversial Carmichael Coal Mine and rail link in Queensland has drawn reactions on expected lines. The environment lobby is fuming while business circles have welcomed the go ahead to the world’s biggest Coal mine.
In a Adani Australia media statement from Brisbane, Adani Chairman Gautam Adani has said the approval of the mine and rail project “…is a step closer to delivering our multi-million dollar mine, rail and port development.”
“Adani’s commitment to nation-building in India goes hand-in-hand with its commitment to providing sustainable employment opportunities for local workers and suppliers, not just through our rail infrastructure , but also our long-term investments in ports and mining,” Mr. Adani said.
Greenpeace, has said, “Don’t assume this is the end of the story. The Carmichael mine cannot go ahead without the financial support of one the big four Australian banks. Greenpeace will make sure every Australian knows that any bank cutting a cheque for Carmichael is making possible a monster mine that will endanger our Reef and our climate.”
“Carmichael coal mine’s impacts will be felt for generations”, Ben Pearson, Australia-Pacific programme director for Greenpeace, has said, adding, the project was approved despite the fact that Adani Group had “a dirty track record (pdf) n India”, where it “has been investigated and fined for illegally building on villagers’ land and destroying protected mangrove areas.”
Pearson, whose reaction has been posted on the Greenpeace site, said he had “hoped” Greg Hunt, Environment Minister, “would stand up to the coal industry and reject the plea for environmental clearance. “Minister Hunt had the simple task of rejecting absurd proposals for the biggest coal mine ever proposed for Australia — the Carmichael mine — which requires a new coal export terminal and destructive dredging and dumping in our beloved Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. But for whatever reason, Hunt couldn’t do it”, he said.
“Hunt approved Carmichael mine against independent expert advice that the mine could dry up endangered springs and drain sections of the Great Artesian Basin. The outback mine, which is located in a drought-prone farming area, requires a whopping 12 billion litres of water every year (pdf)”, the Greenpeace activist said, adding, “With this decision, the political system failed to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the global climate and our national interest”, he said.
Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has spent many years studying the economic viability of energy projects and companies, with a particular focus on the Galilee basin projects.
“It’s not surprising that Minister Hunt is going along with Premier Newman and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s desire to facilitate foreign firms in their efforts to try to prop up Australia’s declining coal industry,” Mr Buckley said.
“Ironically, if this project proceeds, it will actually accelerate the longer term destruction of Australia’s coal export industry by dramatically expanding the capital invested whilst at the same time driving coal prices down globally.
“Global coal prices are already depressed due to excess supply. If the Carmichael project proceeds, it will potentially open up access to another nine mine proposals with a combined thermal coal capacity of up to 300 million tonnes per annum. Our analysis forecasts that this would drive down thermal coal export prices a further 10-20%, thereby squeezing coal sector profit margins which are already down to zero,” Mr Buckley said.
Meanwhile, in an Email statement, Ravi Bhatia President of the Australia India Business Council (Victoria) says, “…the project involving the largest coal mines in Australia and the related logistical and will transportation infrastructure is a major success for the Adani Group. This project will also contribute towards feeding massive thermal power projects in India, particularly in Mundra SEZ in Gujarat, thereby helping to alleviate power shortages in India.
Later, talking to SAT, Mr. Bhatia said, “there is always variation in commodity prices in the international market, Coal was high two years ago, now it is cheap.
“The net effort of low price in market is it makes it harder to get financing for the project. However, low prices are temporary phenomena. One knows to live with it,” he said.
While agreeing environment issues were important, Mr. Bhatia asked, “Can anyone can tell me of technologies that can help us achieve the objective of more energy at a special faster rate than Coal?
“If we wish to lift the standard of living in India and remove poverty we need more energy,” he said.

- SAT News Service