Adani to face court over coal project ‘admin error’

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has started prosecution proceedings against Adani Mining over omissions in its 2017/18 annual return for its Carmichael mine.

However it has cleared Adani of allegations made last year by activist group Coast and Country that its drilling programs at that coal project had contravened conditions of its approval.

The DES confirmed today it would prosecute Adani on a charge of providing false or misleading information in contravention of section 480 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

The department alleges that Adani’s annual return in 2017/18 contained false and misleading information about the disturbance already undertaken at the mine during the annual return period.

The prosecution is listed for mention at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 16.

In a statement today Adani highlighted the fact that it had self-reported the administrative error in question, which related to disturbance to land on the Carmichael mining lease between March 9 and April 2 last year taht was not included in its annual return .

“We have been notified that the prosecution will proceed despite the fact all relevant works were legal and fully complied with our project conditions, and despite there being no environmental harm,” a company spokeswoman said.

She said improvements to internal processes were introduced at the time the administrative error was discovered.

The company has also been notified that t has been cleared regarding allegations relating to clearing of land undertaken by Adani at the Carmichael mine site in 2018 for the construction of dewatering bores, and in 2019 for the construction of drill pads and LOX lines.

The DES today announced it had formed the view that Adani had not contravened the applicable conditions of its approval and that view was confirmed by barrister Stephen Keim S.C.

“This means that Adani Mining has been fully cleared by both the Federal and State environmental regulators of the false claims made by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) for its client Coast and Country last year,” the Adani spokeswoman said.

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