Juukan Gorge inquiry asks Western Australia miners to suspend projects linked to heritage sites, Australia’s IGO to buy minority stake in Greenbushes lithium mine, Opec agreement to tentatively raise oil output fails to mask group divisions. Broadly, these have been described as its potential impact upon the Great Barrier Reef, groundwater at its site and its carbon emissions. The largest coal mine in the world by reserves is the North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, US. [70], In November 2018, Adani Australia announced the project would be 100% financed by Adani Group resources, with no government funding required. Rapid growth has made Australia one of the world’s biggest exporters. Bridges and flood levees must be built before the Southern mines are constructed.[30]. [56] Standard Chartered provided financing to the project, but Adani ended the bank's advisory contract. The case involved three main contentions:[101], The Federal Court set aside the approval on the latter ground. Modi watching Australian Prime Minister shaking hands on Adani’s coal mine. [53] This was rejected by the bank's Chairman. [12] The majority of the mine lies within the Isaac Region, with a small portion in the Charters Towers Region local government area. [114][115], Under the amendments to the EPBC Act the Minister must obtain advice from an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development[116] if an activity is likely to have a significant impact on water resources or impact on a protected ecological communities, species (such as the black-throated finch, world heritage sites, national heritage sites or protected wetlands. "Adani grossly overstated to the public the number of jobs, and royalties the mine would have for Queensland; The mine, rail and port as well as the burning of coal will cause damage to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and ocean acidification; The mine will destroy the core population of endangered Black Throated Finch and may impact Waxy Cabbage Palms, and the potatoes grown in the area too; The mine will threaten the base flow of the Carmichael River and may threaten the ancient springs estimated to be one million years old; and, The project is extremely risky and unlikely to be financially viable. [17], Exporting coal from the Carmichael mines requires new terminals and seabed dredging at the Abbot Point coal port. The coal produced by the Carmichael mine is high quality thermal coal, with a product specification of 5600Kcal and 11% ash, well above typical Indian or Indonesian coal, which has a weighted average value of 4,301–4,600 kcal/kg. [119][120], Substantial controversy about federal environmental law followed the 2015 Federal Court decision to set aside the Carmichael approval (agreed by consent orders signed by the government). [62], In 2015 environment groups have pursued campaigns to pressure banks to rule out funding the project. [16], In July 2014, federal Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt, approved the mine to proceed after 36 conditions were stipulated. Environmentalists have been challenging the mine’s construction, in an attempt to stop more fossil fuels adding to Australia’s already high emissions. [8] The project has faced multiple legal challenges including from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), which has a legal challenge to the approval given to Adani by the federal Environment Minister relating to water. Loy Yang mines a very thick seam of coal as can be seen in the image below. Goonyella commenced operations in 1971, while the adjoining Riverside was brought into production in 1982, before both mines were merged into a single operation in 1989. He was criticised by the coal mining industry for this action. This is because alternative supply will be sourced elsewhere to meet global demand if the mine is not approved. [45] The company took out a television advertisement during the 2015 Queensland election including this claim. Peak Downs is one of the seven coal mines operated by BMA in the Bowen Basin and produced more than 11.8Mt of metallurgical coal in the year ending 30 June 2019. [108] ACF lost the appeal in 2017. [121] Then Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged the business community to get behind these changes, saying "if the Adani mine does not go ahead soon, we are crazy. Documents released under Freedom of Information showed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority scientists had opposed the dumping plan. Adani has applied for a water licence to extract up to 12.5 GL per year from the Belyando River for use at the Carmichael mine. Response to Terms of Reference for Commonwealth Grants Commission 2015 Methodology Review", "Hey, big spender: why Campbell Newman loves his election hard-hat", "Gautam Adani says Queensland to co-invest in Australia project, govt defends SBI loan – Firstpost", "Rail line deal could cost taxpayers $1 billion-plus " Curtis Pitt MP ::: State Member for Mulgrave", "Adani underlines commitment to Galilee Basin coal mine plans", "Queensland Labor backs Adani's Carmichael coal project", "State won't say why it wants federal funding for coal project", "Government offers concessional loans for northern development", "Federal budget 2015: Northern Australia to receive $5 billion in infrastructure loans", "Frequently asked questions | Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility", "Abbott government hints Adani could be considered for rail funding", "Federal court asked to overturn Adani mine approval due to impact on Great Barrier Reef", "Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors [2015] QLC 48", "Can the catastrophic fires bring some sanity to Australian climate politics? Coal from six biggest miners in Australia produces more emissions than entire economy This article is more than 1 year old. This mine produces uranium, silver and copper and is considered as the largest resource of uranium in the world. In 2016, Australia was the biggest net exporter of … Black Thunder coal mine, US; Peak Downs coal mine, Australia; Mt Arthur coal mine, Australia; Goonyella Riverside coal mine, Australia; Saraji coal mine, Australia; 1. The coal industry in Australia is clearly approaching terminal decline. But Adani reduced that ambition to building a 10Mt-15Mt-a-year mine, with the potential of increasing production to 27Mt — making it the biggest in Australia. ", "SEIS Appendix 20 – Application to take water from the Belyando River", "Groundwater dominates discussion at Adani court case", "Environment – Queensland's Galilee Basin", "National recovery plan for the Black-throated finch southern subspecies (, "Adani: 2,000 hectares of black-throated finch habitat removed from conservation plans", "Adani mine 'spinning the roulette wheel' on survival of black-throated finch, researchers say", "Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements Details", "Mackay Conservation Group challenges Adani mine in Federal Court", "Mackay Conservation Group v Commonwealth of Australia and Adani Mining", "Research Briefing: Adani's record of environmental destruction and non-compliance with regulations", "ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION ACT 1999 – SECT 139 Requirements for decisions about threatened species and endangered communities", "Federal Court overturns approval of Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland", "Federal Court intervenes over Adani 'lawfare, "Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Coordinator General's Report", "LATEST ON THE CASE: Adani Carmichael coal mine objection | Edo QLD", "Why aren't Australia's environment laws preventing widespread land clearing? [75] The Newman Queensland Government initially claimed it would not support the Carmichael project, but in 2014 it proposed a "royalty holiday" or reduced royalty rates,[76] as well as proposing to "co-invest" in infrastructure. Australia needs to shut more than half of its coal-fired power stations by 2030 to have a hope of working towards the 1.5-degree goal outlined by the IPCC last year. [64] In November 2014 Daniel Morgan, global commodities analyst at investment bank UBS, said that a price of about $100–$110 a tonne was required to cover costs and return on capital. Activists insist the mine can still be stopped and continue to demonstrate against it. Coal production in Australia increased 13.6% between 2005 and 2010 and 5.3% between 2009 and 2010. [66], The director of energy finance studies Australasia at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, argued in 2015 that the Carmichael mine is a 'stranded asset' due to structural decline in seaborne coal markets; Adani's already high debt gearing; difficulty raising capital, a recent company restructure and approval delays. [6] The proposal includes a new 189-kilometre (117 mi) rail line to connect with the existing Goonyella railway line. Its annual coal production is more than 18Mt and has an estimated reserve life of 35 years. Deciding on the approval for the mine, The President of the Land Court of Queensland stated, "there will be no increase of greenhouse gas emissions if the Carmichael mine is approved. Future production is expected from Honeymoon Uranium Mine and the planned Four Mile Uranium Mine. Blackwater produced the most PM 2.5 particulates (2.5 micrometres or less in diameter) in Australia, with 480 tonnes, followed by Peak Downs (418 tonnes) and Saraji, near Dysart, with 403 tonnes. [73] Queensland Government budget papers show spending of $9.5 billion between 2008 and 2014 assisting the mining industry. While Australia's mineable black coals range from Permian to Jurassic in age (280 to 150 million years old), most of Australia's black coal resources are of Permian age. The main contention was that the Minister did not consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the Great Barrier Reef. Its multi-seam, open-cut mine has been producing up to 10Mt a year of high-quality metallurgical coal for export markets since 1974 and is operated by BMA. [100] The Group was represented by the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW. [3] The surface disturbance area is 27,892 hectares (68,923 acres). The Carmichael coal mine is 10 million-tonne per annum thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia owned by Adani Mining. The lower rank brown coal is sometimes known as lignite. The Saraji open-pit coal mine is yet another deposit located in the Bowen Basin and is the world’s 10th-biggest by recoverable coal reserves. The Mount Arthur (Mt Arthur) coal mine is located in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales and began production in 1968. To put this in perspective Queensland overall produces more than 95.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Big emitting companies should be … [33], Queensland freight rail operator Aurizon had separate plans to develop narrow-gauge rail lines in the Galilee Basin to serve what it described as "several" entities planning mines in the area, including Carmichael, but with no firm agreements close to complete it withdrew a loan request from the NAIF in February 2018. [88], In April 2019 Bob Brown led a convoy of vehicles to protest against the proposed coal mine. [31] This 388 kilometres (241 mi) standard-gauge rail line would provide capacity of 100 million tonnes of coal per year, increasing access to the Galilee Basin. As of November 2019[update], the Adani Group is set to receive a seven-year royalty deferral worth $900m, and over $4.4 billion in total tax exemptions, deferrals and capital subsidies from Queensland taxpayers for the life of the Carmichael mine. [61] In August 2017 the remaining bank Australia and New Zealand Banking Group distanced itself from Adani and announced a strategic shift away from coal. [89], In the wake of disastrous 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, Australia's climate policies, including the Carmichael mine, have become an ongoing topic of public discussion in Australia.[90]. It is estimated to hold 549Mt of recoverable coal reserves, including 530Mt of proved and 19Mt of probable ore reserves last year. More than 20 coal seams are mined at Mt Arthur, where thermal coal is produced for energy-related customers in the area and internationally. Due to this change if you are seeing this message for the first time please make sure you reset your password using the Forgot your password Link. ", "Galilee Coal Basin:Carmichael – A Stranded Asset? The original plan was to build a 60Mt-a-year mega-mine, which would have made it one of the largest in the world. Australia's principal black coal producing basins are the Bowen (Queensland) and Sydney (New South Wales) Basins. The Blackwater mine (28,135 tonnes) was second, with another Moranbah mine – Goonyella Riverside – third with 22,336 tonnes. If … Exports are planned to leave the country via port facilities at Hay Point and Abbot Point after being transported to the coast via rail. [20], In August 2015, the federal Department of Environment and Adani signed consent orders in the Federal Court to set aside approval of the Carmichael project. [13] Since then proposal has gone through many changes. Peak Downs is currently Australia’s biggest coal mine (Credit: Flickr/Beyond Coal & Gas Image Library) It has been owned and operated by Australia’s biggest coal producer and exporter BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi since 2001. The site is owned and operated by BHP Billiton, with the mining operations consisting of two open-cut areas — the Northern Open Cut and the Southern Open Cut. "[82][83] The website states "The Commonwealth will not lend to projects that are commercially viable without Government assistance. Despite reports Federal Court "overturned" the approval,[104] the decision occurred by consent order signed by the Department of Environment and Adani. Therefore, the water trigger should be applied.". Treasurer Jeff Seeney argued "The Queensland government, like governments across the world, have always provided some major incentives and the incentive we have decided to provide relates to infrastructure rather than the traditional handing out of grants. [92] Impacts on ground water were central to a case in the QLD Land Court, where Adani's expert witness defended inferences drawn from drilling data, against allegations that this was insufficient to determine risks of collapses underground that could impact groundwater systems. [68], In 2015, LG announced it will not proceed with a contract to buy coal from the mine. This includes more than half of the top 20 coal financing banks globally. The industry took a major hit last year, however, when thermal coal prices experienced their biggest annual drop for more than a decade — plummeting from $101 in December, 2018, to $66 a year later. [15] The mine site covers an area of 44,700 hectares (110,456 acres), around 447 square kilometres (173 sq mi), and is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) long. [117] The water trigger was added to the EPBC Act in 2013, after being introduced by then Federal New England MP Tony Windsor. [55] Banks ruling out funding include: Citigroup; JP Morgan Chase; Goldman Sachs; Deutsche Bank; Royal Bank of Scotland; HSBC; Barclays; BNP Paribas; Credit Agricole; Societe Generale; National Australia Bank. [96] The plan was heavily criticised by ecologists, who highlighted the plan to graze cattle on protected land and noted the land was tagged to be used for other projects. Goonyella and Riverside were originally operated as separate open-cut coal mines. [24], In July 2020 Adani commenced the first stages of the box cut process, and construction remains on track for first coal in 2021. [77] The Labor Opposition criticised this as a "blank cheque". In 2014, Adani signed an agreement with South Korean construction company POSCO to develop the North Galilee Basin Rail Project. Black coal consists of the higher rank anthracite, bituminous and sub-bituminous coals. The case was dismissed because the court found that the cause and effect was complicated, the lower court stating that it was "not possible for him [the Minister] to draw firm conclusions as to the likely contribution of Adani's action to a specific increase in global temperature" and that if the coal was stopped from the Carmichael Mine it would likely be substituted from somewhere else. But I sure as hell am concerned they are protected. The open-pit mine was approved by the Queensland Government and the federal Australian governments. Last year coal overtook iron ore as Australia’s biggest export. The Peak Downs coal mine is located in the Bowen Basin of central Queensland and is currently the country’s biggest coal mine by recoverable reserves. [18][19] as it was widely criticised as damaging the fragile coral and seagrass ecosystem. [119], On 16 March 2020, the ACF once again lodged papers in court to take action against the government. [9] Greta Thunberg has drawn international attention to the mine. Yancoal Australia Limited is one of Australia’s largest and leading coal miners. [16] 190 conditions were set by the state during both construction and operations phases of the mine with particular attention paid to groundwater and water bores which may be potentially affected. North Antelope Rochelle, US – 1.7 billion tonnes. [79] After Labor's election victory, the new Queensland Treasurer confirmed the government will not fund the rail line, but did not rule out other forms of support such as a royalty holiday. [81], The 2015–16 Federal Budget outlined the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility "to provide large concessional loans for the construction of ports, pipelines, electricity and water infrastructure that will open our northern frontier for business. Someone has to lose. [97] There was also a lack of transparency and consultation with experts in the field.[98]. [47] In Queensland's Land Court, Adani's expert witness, economist Jerome Fahrer from ACIL Allen consulting, rejected the 10,000 figure, saying the project would create less than 1,500 jobs. [28] The mine will take a total of 297 billion litres of water from underground aquifers. When Modi was campaigning for India’s Prime Ministerial candidate, around the same time India has seen one of the biggest anti corruption movements. Production has fluctuated over the last decade, from a low of 191,000 ounces in 2008 to a high of 314,000 in 2013, and down again to the 2018 total of 258,000. [91] The mine will also use groundwater that flows to the surface during the process of "dewatering" the open cut pits and underground mines. That the Minister failed to consider Adani's poor record of environmental management in India, including building without approvals and illegally clearing mangroves, That the Minister did not consider "approved conservation advice" for two. This was to make a stand against the desecration of their traditional land and the lack of their consent for the project. That the Minister unlawfully excluded consideration of greenhouse gas emissions to emissions directly associated with the operation of the mine. [67] In 2015, documents from Queensland Treasury released under Freedom of Information showed senior officials advising Ministers that Carmichael "is unlikely to stack up on a conventional project finance assessment". Australia's government has given its approval for one of the world's biggest coal mines to be built by India's Adani Mining in Queensland. [48] Fahrer described the method used to produce the 10,000 figure as 'deficient'. According to the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) submitted by Adani, "maximum impacts in excess of 300m are predicted" for the local water table. It has been owned and operated by Australia’s biggest coal producer and exporter BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi since 2001. The three largest uranium mines in the country are Olympic Dam, Ranger Uranium Mine and Beverley Uranium Mine. [95] Adani Australia produced a management plan for the finch, proposing to gradually clear land around the mine and force the finches to move away. [35] In September 2018, Adani announced that it had abandoned plans to build the standard gauge line in favor of constructing a 200 kilometres (120 mi) 1,067mm line to a connection with existing narrow-gauge trackage. [118], In June 2019 the government acknowledged that they had acted incorrectly in failing to properly consider the thousands of public submissions it received, and conceded the case, but did not address the question of whether it failed to correctly apply the water trigger. : Pembroke resources ) it will be exported to international markets in Japan and China `` during the Queensland. World’S largest untapped coal reserves yancoal Australia Limited is one of the,! Super Pit gold mine in Australia were floated during the 2015 Queensland election including this claim 2015 election... Coast via rail ] since then proposal has gone through many changes they are.! 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