Melbourne: India’s Adani group is preparing to ship the first shipment of coal from Australia’s most controversial mine, after fighting a seven-year campaign led by climate activists and defying a global push away from fossil fuels.
The Carmichael mine in the Queensland hinterland will likely be the last new thermal coal mine to be built in Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, but will be a vital source of supply for importers such as the power plants in India.
“The first shipment of high quality coal from the Carmichael mine is being assembled at the North Queensland export terminal in Bowen, ready to be exported as planned,” said a spokesperson for the Australian subsidiary. Adani, Bravus Mining & Resources, in a statement.
The statement did not specify where the shipment was headed, except that “we have already secured the market for the 10 million tonnes per year of coal that will be produced at the Carmichael mine.”
When Adani bought the project in 2010, she planned to build a 60 million tonne per year mine with a 400 km (250 mile) rail line for around A $ 16 billion ($ 11 billion), the one of the many projects planned for the then unexploited Galileo Basin.
He cut the mining plan in 2018 to 10 million tonnes per year following a sustained “Stop Adani” campaign led by green groups that scared lenders, insurers and large engineering companies away.
“This refinement of the plan kept operating costs to a minimum and kept the project in the top quartile of the global cost curve,” Adani CEO of Australia, Lucas Dow, told Reuters in comments. sent by email.
The company did not disclose the cost of the smaller mine and a 200 km railway line it built connecting to an existing rail line, but the project was estimated at A $ 2 billion. ($ 1.5 billion).
“This is quite a celebration as this will be the last truly completely new thermal coal mine in Australia,” said Lloyd Hain, managing director of consulting firm AME Group.
Climate activists, concerned about carbon emissions and potential damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – both from global warming and dredging at Abbot Point harbor – have presented several cases challenging government approvals for the mine.
Their campaign turned into a lightning rod in Australia’s last election in 2019, in a fight for jobs against the environment that saw the coal-friendly Conservative coalition government re-elected when it was to lose.
While activists have managed to delay the project for seven years and even get Adani to change his local name to Bravus, they are not claiming victory.
“It’s a shame that the mine continues to move forward. But just because the mine is open doesn’t mean all the coal in the ground is going to come out. We will continue to campaign to keep as much coal as possible. in the ground, “said Andy Paine, who chained himself to Adani’s railroad tracks several weeks ago.
Everything about the port
The coal will be exported from a terminal at Abbot Point, which Adani bought for $ 2 billion in 2011 and renamed the North Queensland Export Terminal.
Analysts said it made sense for Adani to dig the mine to help him recoup the massive investment in the coal terminal, which has been nearly half-empty since it was acquired by Adani.
“It’s about maximizing your cash income on the railroad and maximizing your profits on Abbot Point,” said Tim Buckley, director of the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
He said that even if the Carmichael mine becomes unprofitable with falling coal prices, Adani could be prompted to expand it to 20 million tonnes per year to keep the port full, when other mines supplying the terminal. will stop producing.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)