MELBOURNE: The Adani Group on Thursday said it will restart talks with stakeholders to take forward its plans to build one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia, days after the Indian mining giant’s controversy-hit $21.7 billion project won three mining leases.
“The granting of mining leases (MLs) means discussions can now recommence with contractors and stakeholders on prospective people, logistics and mining services hubs to service Adani’s Carmichael Mine, North Galilee Basin Rail and Abbott Point Port Expansion projects,” Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj said at the Queensland-based Bowen Basin Mining Club (BBMC).
“In conjunction with our valued partners such as Downer, we have been considering our preferred options for hubs to not only ensure we get the best value for this significant investment but, consistent with our undertakings, ensure local workforces and suppliers have the opportunity to benefit” Janakaraj said.
His remarks comes just days after Adani’s $21.7 billion coal mine project in Queensland won three mining leases after which the Indian mining giant said a final decision on investment will be taken only after the resolution of “politically-motivated” legal challenges.
Janakaraj on Thursday asserted that “as we have consistently said, our workforce and suppliers will be Australian based, and within that, overwhelmingly Queensland based.”
“Certainty approvals is what is required for detailed and thorough planning for the construction phase of these important projects to commence. The granting of the MLs mean we can start to have more meaningful dialogue with our contractors and communities in preparation for an estimated 2017 construction commencement, pending the conclusion of additional politically-motivated activist appeals, and the conclusion of the balance of second tier approvals,” he said.
On Sunday, the state mines minister Anthony Lynham announced approvals for three mining leases about 160km northwest of Clermont for Adani. Over 200 conditions apply to the project which would be the largest coal mine in Australia.
“Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, and Bowen will all play key roles in supporting and delivering these projects, which are vital for the region”, Janakaraj said.
“The composition of those hubs will be an outcome of the more detailed discussions we can now resume with our contractors and communities with a little bit more certainty. Importantly, and contrary to some naysayers, today Adani is clearly re-affirming its commitment to North Queensland and Central Queensland support and manpower opportunities,” he said.
“While we cannot pre-empt the appeals process, we look forward to being able to provide more detailed announcements between now and the end of the year on these benefits and hub details as the planning and appeals are finalised,” Janakaraj added.
Adani’s plan to build one of the world’s biggest coal mines in Australia has been hampered time and again. A federal court in August last year had revoked the original approval due to environmental concerns.