The north’s abuzz with moves by government to help get Adani’s Queensland coal mine off the ground.
Indian utilities and logistics giant Adani owns the Carmichael lease near Clermont in the northern section of the Galilee Basin.
They had touted for a 2010 start to operations when first securing the lease. Now it looks like 2020 is closer to the mark.
Adani is looking at spending $21.7 billion developing the project.
The initial plan had the mine producing around 30 million tonnes a year making it the largest mine in the souther hemisphere.
Adani has been quoted in the Financial Review recently saying they were willing to look at lower tonnages. It was seen as a concession to the green lobby.
Conservation groups have been criticised for abuse of process after continual court challenges to approvals given to Adani.
The Queensland Government has declared the combined mine, rail and water infrastructure all been declared ‘critical infrastructure’.
As well, the project’s special ‘prescribed project’ status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.
His decision would mean less red tape for the proposed project State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade,” he said.
“It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pipeline and the rail, and expands the Coordinator-General’s power to ensure timely approvals.” Dr Lynham said the declaration was based on advice from the independent Coordinator-General, who continued to meet regularly with Adani to progress the project.
“When this government came to power in early 2015, it is fair to say that there was a long way to go with the approvals that Adani needed before they could start construction.
“Since then, 22 key Commonwealth, State and local government approvals have been granted for Adani’s mine, rail and port facilities and there have been 29 key milestones reached.
“Adani has now obtained all the necessary primary approvals for its mine, rail and port project— and most importantly, I have granted the mining leases.
“At a state level, the only key approvals remaining are water licenses and Adani is actively working on those with my Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
“I know that regional communities particularly will welcome the advice from Adani that construction of the project is set to begin in 2017,” he said.
Dr Lynham said the progress on the project had been achieved while protecting the Great Barrier Reef and meeting Queensland and Commonwealth environmental impact assessment requirements.