EDO Qld has prepared an update on the status of the Adani Carmichael coal and rail project, with information on special treatment on royalties, groundwater, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, remaining approvals and court cases. Last update 19 September 2018.
North Galilee Water Scheme
Adani’s proposed scheme to source water for the mine from the Suttor River is currently before the Federal Environment Department for consideration. The scheme involves a 61 km pipeline for Adani to extract and pump up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the river.
On 17 September 2018, the Department decided that the project requires assessment, but only on preliminary documentation (i.e. no detailed EIS) for impacts to threatened species. The Department appears to have agreed with Adani that the proposal does not form part of a larger project, and does not require assessment for impacts on a water resource related to large coal mining development.
Evidence of offences relating to the mine site
Evidence has emerged that appears to show that Adani has constructed groundwater dewatering bores before obtaining the required governmental approval of a groundwater dependent ecosystems management plan (GDEMP). This is an apparent breach of its State and Federal mine approvals. Government agencies are investigating. There is also evidence that Adani failed to report land clearing site disturbance for the bores in its annual return to the Qld Environment Department, under statutory declaration; Adani has now acknowledged that omission. Read more here….
Abbot Point Coal Terminal cyclone discharges
Adani is the owner of the Abbot Point Port, from which some of the coal from the Carmichael mine is intended to be exported.
Adani was granted a temporary emissions licence to help manage stormwater during Cyclone Debbie, but it subsequently reported an exceedance of the licence discharge limits to the marine environment. After Adani challenged an infringement fine, the Queensland Government is now prosecuting Adani for the offence. Adani has also appealed a Queensland Government requirement to conduct an investigation into the causes and impacts of a related discharge to the Caley Valley Wetlands. Read more here….
Adani was granted their associated water licence and surface water licence for the Carmichael Mine on 29 March 2017. Read more here….
Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund
In November last year the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her Government’s veto of the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) application for a $1 billion dollar loan of public money to an Adani subsidiary for the North Galilee Basin Rail Project. Read more here about the approvals process...
Adani still lack a number of essential approvals and in addition to the submission of critical environmental management plans to satisfy conditions of other approvals before they can begin construction.
According to the Australian Financial Review on 7 April 2014 the outstanding approvals include those needed for mine camps, airstrip and telecommunications operations. There are also approvals still needed for the railway at the state level, including for a quarry, vegetation clearing and a camp.”
A decision on whether the North Galilee Water Scheme will require assessment and approval under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) is currently pending.
The challenge to Adani’s Federal environmental approval was dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia in August 2017. The Court accepted that the Minister concluded that the combustion emissions from the proposed mine would have no relevant impact on the Great Barrier Reef. Read more here…