Adani has passed its final environmental approval and can now begin work on its Carmichael mine in Central Queensland after nearly nine years of planning, fierce protests and endless political debate.
The Environment Department said it sought advice from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia in approving the plan.
As per Adani Australia chief executive Lucas Dow, the mine project will create 6,750 indirect jobs in the region. Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said that it had been more than 50 years since a new coal basin opened in Queensland.
Queensland’s Environment Department approved the mine’s groundwater management plan, with construction at the Galilee Basin to ramp up over the coming weeks.
After Labor’s poor results at the federal election, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last month said she was “fed up” with both the federal and state delays for the Indian miner and gave her Environment Department the new deadlines.
Over the past 18 months Adani had produced about a dozen versions of the plan. Previous attempts failed to meet key environmental requirements, including a plan to avoid destroying one of the world’s last unspoiled desert oases, the Doongmabulla Springs Complex.
The most divisive project in recent Australian history can finally break ground. But sceptics still struggle to see how Adani will turn a profit from a remote thermal coal mine in the era of the Paris climate agreement.
It was ordered to identify the source of the springs and today the Environment Department said Adani had sufficiently established that Clematis Sandstone was the main source aquifer.
However, the miner was ordered to do further investigation and install a new bore to rule out whether the Permian aquifers (Colinlea) was also a source.
It will also be required to do further work over the next two years to identify any other potential source, by using detailed hydrogeochemical analysis of groundwater from different springs, isotopic analysis, air sampling and examinations of core samples from new bores.