An Indian mining company will start the construction of Australia’s biggest coal mine in October: a $16.5 billion coal mine project on Galilee basin in Queensland. Adani Chairman Gautam Adani confirmed the commencement of the project, which will support regional job growth.
Aside from jobs, the plan will spur business for equipment suppliers from fuel tanks for diesel to construction tools.
Experts expect coal production from the project in as early as March 2020. Adani announced the start date for the proposed facility, after the Federal Court’s dismissal of two legal complaints from Australian Conservation Foundation and traditional landowner Adrian Burragubba against the new coal mine.
The company intends to use $400 million of its financial resources as initial funding for the project. However, it will likely struggle to secure funding from banks since some have been hesitant to lend support to coal mines, as these institutions do not intend to associate themselves with such projects.
Deutsche Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are some of the banks that already decided not to be involved in the facility’s development.
Several environmental advocates have opposed the Adani mine, and some have argued that it would endanger wildlife. Basha Stasak of the Australian Conservation Foundation believes that not only would the coal mine affect the Great Barrier Reef, but also “billions of tonnes of carbon pollution” in the air.
Despite these claims, the Palaszczuk government has been supportive of the new coal mine, as a government spokesperson said that it represents a job-creating venture. Queensland Resources Council also treated the planned ground-breaking of the project as welcome news.
The coal mine may be the biggest of its kind in Australia, yet support seems to be lacking especially from environmental groups. Still, the project’s proponents use jobs and economic growth as some of the reasons behind its viability.