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Adani announces coal mine construction will begin

Nicole Hasham reports in the Brisbane Times (29.11.18) on Adani’s announcement that it will shortly commence with the Carmichael coal mine project, based on its own finance.

‘Federal Labor says Adani’s Carmichael mine has failed to live up to its economic promises after the Indian mining giant announced it will self-finance a dramatically smaller project than originally planned.

‘Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow on Thursday said the scaled-back project would be “100 per cent financed” from within the Adani conglomerate, clearing a major hurdle for the highly contentious proposal.

‘It has been revised down to a smaller rail line project and coal volumes to reduce the investment risk.  Construction at the central Queensland mine site will soon begin, the company says.

‘The mine project was once priced at $16.5 billion and would have been Australia’s largest. It suffered years of delays due to legal challenges and a failure to secure private sector finance in Australia or overseas.

‘The project is seen as a circuit breaker that will encourage other projects seeking to mine the Galilee Basin’s huge coal reserves, and will thrust debate over the future of Australia’s coal industry to the forefront of the federal election campaign.’

Another Adani alarm

TJ Ryan Foundation Board member, John Quiggin, writes in Inside Story (30.11.18) about Adani’s announcement that work will shortly commence on the Carmichael coal mine, suggesting that ‘if this isn’t the latest in a series of false alarms, then Labor might finally be forced to disown the project’.

‘Yesterday’s announcement that Adani Mining would proceed with the Carmichael mine project without external funding was not entirely surprising. Adani has persevered with the project despite years of failure, and it was already obvious that Gautam Adani could do most of the financing out of his own resources. The accelerating flight of banks, insurance companies and pension funds away from coal means the company really had no other option.

‘The fact that Adani has been unable to find external funding is well known, as is the fact that a starting date has been announced several times in the last eighteen months. But the pattern stretches back years, and goes far beyond problems with finance.

‘For at least five years, Adani has been announcing the imminent, or actual, start of the project. Over this period, business partnerships have been announced, only to then break down. In Adani’s telling, these serial divorces were due to the fact that the other party was no longer needed.

‘… It would be a brave step for Labor to lead the world in announcing such a moratorium. But the current opposition has shown surprising bravery on a number of issues, most notably tax policy, and has suffered no apparent electoral costs — rather the reverse. The majority of Australians want action on climate change and understand that the economic benefits Adani has long promised are illusory. Let’s hope that this economic and ecological disaster can still be stopped.’

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