Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project hits a snag

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There have been reports that Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project is in the middle of a face off with traditional land owners of the Galilee Basin.

After a group of indigenous Australian’s flocked to Parliament House in protest holding up signs with unfavourable messages for the mining conglomerate.

The protesters from the Wagnan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, say they pledged a native title claim over most of the Galilee Basin in 2004, claiming the mine would destroy their ancestral lands.

In addition to a land war, the mine, worth $16.5 billion, creator of thousands of jobs and billions in taxes and royalties is now facing a potential financial snag as reports indicate the State Bank of India (SBI) is preparing to turn down the companies request for a $1 billion loan.

SBI would not be the first loss Adani has faced for the project. Major global banks, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, have already refused to fund the project due to its ‘damaging impact’ on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

This has been said to have prompted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s midweek announcement that a new agreement between the Queensland Government and Adani had been reached resulting in dredge disposal being dumped on land instead of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

It was this agreement that saw Adani finally making some headway on the project. Now with reports of investment troubles and indigenous land ownership squabbles the future of the project remains unclear.

Mayor Frank Beveridge voices his encouragement for the project. He says, it would be devastating for the region and for India if the project was forced out due to a land dispute.

Spokesperson for Adani Andrew Porter says the mining company continues negotiations with the W&J people. He says, the individuals involved in the protest are not authorised to speak on behalf of W&J.

“Adani is aware of at least one instance where the authorised majority of the W&J applicant instructed that the NNTT should disregard an individual statement of one of its group because there had been a unanimous decision not to make a submission on two of Adani’s mining lease applications,” says Mr Porter.

“A part of the process established at law is a structured framework to ensure clarity and openness of process and timelines, including with reference to the National Native Title Tribunal.  Adani continues to negotiate with the W&J’s authorised representatives towards terms acceptable to all parties.

“Following comprehensive and ongoing discussions and negotiations with the W&J, Adani does not believe that the W&J “don’t want this mine” as the W&J have been and continue to be actively involved in negotiations around delivery of the mine on terms acceptable to the W&J.

“In addition to the native title processes, Adani respects the W&J’s cultural heritage and can confirm it has been working closely with the W&J since 6 September 2011 under a cultural heritage management plan agreed with the W&J.

“Again, Adani continues to negotiate with the W&J’s authorised representatives and would prefer a negotiated outcome that recognises all parties’ interests,” says Mr Porter.