The Queensland Court of Appeal in Australia has quashed a case against Indian firm Adani’s $16bn Carmichael coal mine, clearing the legal hurdle for the long-pending construction of the project.
The case was filed by Adrian Burragubba, an activist who claimed to be representing the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) communities, challenged the state government’s approval of a mining lease for the project.
Welcoming the decision taken by the court, Adani remarked that it represents yet another independent judicial judgement in favour of around eight years of development planning and approvals.
In a statement, Adani said: “It is also another legal rebuff to activists’ use of the courts to seek to delay a project that will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, including a minimum 7% of jobs going to traditional land owners covering the almost 400km long strip from Abbot Point to central western Queensland.
“Burragubba suggests he is acting on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou community, but the W&J people voted by 294-1 to support an indigenous land use agreement with Adani.”
Responding to the judgement, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane noted that the delay in the implementation of the Adani Carmichael coal mine project will result in loss of revenue to the state government in the form of royalties to the sum of $185m.
Macfarlane added: “Exporting resources helps to fund essential services and they are a significant driver of growth - in 2015-16 the industry contributed $55.7bn to the state’s economy.”
Works to be undertaken as part of the project include a thermal coal mine in the north Galilee Basin, which is planned to be linked by a new 388km standard gauge rail line to Abbot Point Port near Bowen.
The mine is expected to produce up to 60mmtpa at full production capacity.