Green light for Adani

Indian mining company clears last environmental hurdle


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Lucas Dow can smile and Adani can begin construction work in the Galilee Basin.

Lucas Dow can smile and Adani can begin construction work in the Galilee Basin.

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The Department of Environment has approved the groundwater management plan Adani has for its Carmichael Mine, meaning construction work can begin in the Galilee Basin.

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CENTRAL Queensland stands poised to reap extraordinary benefits in the wake of the Adani Group securing a vital, final environmental clearance for its Carmichael mine.

Adani has won approval from the Department of Environment over plans to protect groundwater in the Galilee Basin and follows acceptance of its management plan for the endangered black-throated finch.

The Department has accepted Adani's claim the Doongmabulla Springs Complex, one of the world's last unspoiled desert oases, was primarily fed by the Clematis Sandstone as the main source aquifer.

However, Adani must do further investigation and install a new bore to rule out whether the Permian aquifers (Colinlea) are also a source.

It will also be required to do further work over the next two years to identify any other potential source, using detailed hydrogeochemical analysis of groundwater from different springs, isotopic analysis, air sampling and examinations of core samples from new bores.

The Department said while box cut mining can begin at the site, underground mining will not commence until the further testing is completed.

In the aftermath of the double-barrelled approvals Adani will begin construction work immediately, according to CEO Lucas Dow.

"These preparatory actions will enable us to start construction activities, including fencing, bridge and road upgrades, water management and civil earthworks on the mine site," Mr Dow said.

"The level of construction activity will then steadily increase."

Mr Dow said the mine would need about 1500 employees and was expected to create 6750 indirect jobs in the region.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow said the city and its neighbours would benefit.

"Today is a victory for the persistence of Adani. Today is a victory for common sense," Councillor Strelow said.

"Adani have faced a barrage of vexatious legal attacks and political shenanigans have undoubtedly compounded Adani's difficulties and made the journey that much harder. Australia's reputation has suffered as a result."

She suggested a "significant proportion" of construction workers would be drawn from the Rockhampton region.

"We don't have a specific number of jobs, nor could anyone realistically give a number at this stage," Cr Strelow said.

"But we know that the Rockhampton Regional Council area will be a prime target for jobs for this project and that the company have flagged that they will certainly honour and return the commitment that we have shown them.

"This is a whole of region celebration too, as there were always going to be a proportion of the initial construction jobs which came from outside either the Townsville or Rockhampton Regional Council areas."

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