Aussie PM says Galilee Basin mines ‘vitally important’ for Australia
In the wake of the Australian Federal Court decision to overturn the approval of the Adani Carmichael mine development in the Queelsland Galilee Basin, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown his weight behind the coal mining venture – backing it all the way.
He said that the US$16.5bn Adani Galilee Basin project was “vitally important” and the act of sabotaging this developmental plans using legal methods was dangerous for Australia as a whole.
“If the courts can be turned into a means of sabotaging projects which are striving to meet the highest environmental standards, then we have a real problem as a nation,” Abbott said.
Abbott announced that the overturning of the proposed Queensland Carmichael mega thermal coal mine means opponents of future projects (and there are many in the Galilee Basin) can effectively use the federal courts to bring down coal mining projects that have significant value to the future of Australia.
Australian coal project like the Shenhua’s proposed coal mine in Liverpool Plains, NSW is expected to be targeted by activists. Anglo American’s $5.6 billion Drayton South project as well as Rio Tinto’s Warkworth expansion in the Hunter Valley could be on the hit list too.
A little closer to home for iMINCO, is the New Hope Group’s $900 million expansion of the Acland coal mine in south-east Queensland which is expecting a backlash from the activists.
Who put the skids on Adani’s Carmichael mine development?
The latest ruling that has put the ‘skids’ on the Adani mine development is the fact that a protected species was not factored into the EIS.
According to what we have read in unprecedented media reports, the Adani approval was set aside by the court after it was found that Greg Hunt, Federal Environment Minister had not properly considered professional advice regarding the impact the mine would have on endangered species like the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.
Looking at this federal ruling – a technicality has brought the $16 billion project to a stop sign – although, you have to take as not a permanent stop – rather a give way. With the magnitude of the project and the significance to Australia in terms of jobs and taxes that will flow into government coffers, the Adani Carmichael project is not dead and buried just yet.
Abbot went on to day, “We can’t become a nation of naysayers…we have to remain a nation that gives people a fair go if they play by the rules”.
The Adani project has faced massive resistance from environmental groups and local residents who are ‘hell-bent’ on stopping the development of the mine.
Many articles have been sprouting up on the web as to the viability of the Adani project. One the one had we have these reports from QMEB.com with the headline “Adani confident Carmichael mine will go ahead” despite the Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropping out of the negotiations.
Banks get nervous
As we all know, international pressure from environmentalists lobbying world banks who were proposing financing the Carmichael mine, has meant many walked away from the funding negotiations for fear of a backlash from its own customers.
Banks are torn between making profit and investing in projects that could produce a cash windfall in terms of interest payments on its loans – to that of losing public face and being labelled as ‘environmentally reckless‘. It’s not an easy position for both parties.
In India, one of the local media sources published this: “Adani’s Aussie mining project comes a cropper after court rules against it“. They seem to be of the opinion that the mine is dine and dusted, making reference that the Adani Group has already made up its mind to look elsewhere for coal to fuel its new energy plants, which are reportedly coming on-line in 2018.
So the race is on to find the right fuel source for these new power stations which were originally ‘specked-up’ to take high quality Australian thermal coal.
An unbiased view
With so much confusion, it’s no wonder iMINCO has been swamped with enquiries into the development of the mine and what the future holds. With so many views on the project, we thought it would be best to cite articles we have been following to give our readers an unbiased view of the situation.
In the Australian Financial Review, an article appeared “Anti-coal activists to turn from Adani to mine expansions” reporting on how the current trend of blocking new coal mining projects in Australia could develop into an all-out assault on existing mines that have already began the process of ‘expansion’.
Citing the dangers to local flora and fauna as well as indigenous wildlife as the reason for their actions. All the while, the Australian mine workers are looking for more ways to extend the lifespan of existing mines, creating job security for the thousands of local residents who rely on these mines for their livelihoods.
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