The race is now on to develop the massive $16 billion thermal coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
The Queensland government is backing the new mine, indicating that in its view, the proposed mine does not impose an environmental hazard.
The Newman Government in Queensland last week approved the $16 billion Carmichael thermal coal mine in central Queensland, which is being proposed by the Indian power and energy giant Adani.
The scale of the mine is staggering, with six open-cut pits and about five underground mines, covering over 200 square kilometres of central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
“$16 billion Carmichael mega-mine”
One of the main driving forces behind the approval of the project is that the $16 billion Carmichael mega-mine would be a jobs bonanza for the state – according to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
Quick facts about Adani and why the mine will go ahead
- India already imports 20 per cent of its coal needs.
- In 2013 152 million tonnes of coal we brought into the country by sea.
- Rising electricity demands in India are putting the squeeze on local coal production.
- The state-run Coal India Limited (CIL) is under pressure to top up its output by importing more coal from overseas.
- India`s power stations are not running at optimum levels.
- There are about 65,000 MW of power generation projects out of action.
- In 2015 551.60 million tonnes of coal is what will be the expected demand level.
- India’s supplies of coal are predicted to be around 466.89 million tonnes, leaving a shortfall of about 84.71 million tonnes (target Australia).
- Up to the year 2040, India`s net coal-fired electricity generation could expand by about 910 terawatt hours.
- India is definitely looking to Australia for a continuous supply of high quality coal products. (Galilee Basin)
Questions still need to be answered about the effects of the mine on the localised environment, especially the issue of water usage. The proposed mine stands to share the local water supply with the agricultural sector, causing some issues amongst farmers and local residents.
Opponents of the mine development say mining in the area would pose a terrible threat to the environment, particularly to the region’s precious water supplies.
To counteract these claims, the Qld government hired its own expert, who has argued that some of the independent committee’s comments about the negative effects of the mine should be ignored. The government went on to say some other points raised by the committee were false.
A staggering 3,900 mining jobs could be created
Cambell Newman said the Carmichael mine will create 2,500 construction jobs during the build phase, and a staggering 3,900 operational jobs once the mine is completed. The Adani Carmichael mine project would produce about 60 million tonnes of high quality thermal coal a year, with the majority of coal being shipped to India via the Abbot Point coal terminal in which Adani invested over $2 billion.
The Qld Premier remains steadfast in his resolve and went on to say that, “we [Queensland] are in the coal business. I again reiterate that today”.
This sends a strong signal to the coal mining industry that finally there is some movement in the Galilee Basin mining projects. There is a new wave of mining activity on the horizon and people who have their eye on mining jobs would be well advised to keep their focus on Adani and the Carmichael mine project.
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There will be thousands of mining jobs created when this mine reaches the green light stage – which is not far off.