Adani Group’s Australian division Bravus Mining & Resources has lost a case related to the North Galilee water scheme at the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The scheme, which was intended to provide 12.5 billion litres of water to the coal mine annually, was earlier approved by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Contending the approval by the Minister for Environment, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) filed a case in the federal court in 2020 appealing its viability.

The federal court has now overturned the approval, ruling that the government made a ‘legal error’ in assessing and approving the scheme for the miner.

A Bravus spokesperson said: “We will carefully consider the judgement handed down today in the federal court regarding the validity of the federal environment minister’s previous decision to approve the North Galilee Water Scheme. The issue considered by the federal court concerned the interpretation of certain sections of the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.

“Regardless of today’s court judgement, construction on the Carmichael mine and rail project is well underway, and importantly, the North Galilee Water Scheme project is not required for these construction activities.

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The spokesperson said that the court’s decision will not affect the construction or operation of the Carmichael Mine.

ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said: “This decision raises more doubts about the viability of Adani’s mine. Without the North Galilee Water Scheme, it’s hard to see how Adani has enough water to operate its mine.

“This decision will apply to other potential water sources for the Carmichael mine.”

This is the second time ACF has won a legal challenge against the environment minister’s decisions over the water scheme. In 2019, the government conceded that it had failed to properly consider public comments received for the coal mine.