Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani is optimistic of starting his $22 billion Carmichael coal mine and port-cum-railhead projects at Queensland in Australia, facing some opposition there, by August this year.
“We expect the final federal approvals by May or June. We need just about three months from thereon to actually begin the work on the mine. It means we can kick-start work from August this year,” Adani told PTI in an interview over the weekend.
He was accompanied by Queensland premier Anastasia Palaszczuk, who was in town leading a 25-member delegation of mayors and state officials after visiting the Mundra port and solar power farms of the Adanis in Gujarat over the weekend. Adani said he expects his coal mining in Australia to start by 2020.
The company has nearly halved the first phase of the mining project to 25 mt per annum from the original plan of 40 mt, he said.
The Adani group entered Australia in 2010 after purchasing the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in the central Queensland and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north.
Palaszczuk too sounded positive about securing the pending federal approvals soon as her country’s national parliament is in session now and is keen to begin a debate on the project.
“Most of the approvals are in. There is no approval pending from my government. Some legislations are currently before the federal parliament,” she said.
“I don’t believe there will be any obstacles for that final piece of legislation in the federal parliament and the environmental conditions have been attached as well,” Palaszczuk said.
The support for the investment in Queensland comes just days after Australian cricket legends Ian and Greg Chappell and scores of other prominent Aussies urged Adani to abandon the $21.7 billion project.
The company, however, rejected the demand as “a motivated attempt by a very small group of 76 misled people.”