Australia sanctions coal port expansion, Adani to benefit

Australia approved a controversial coal port expansion to support projects, like Indian mining giant Adani’s 6.5 billion dollar Carmichael mine in Central Queensland, despite opposition from green groups which claim it will impact the fragile Great Barrier Reef
Australia sanctions coal port expansion, Adani to benefit


The Abbot Point port, some 400 km off the vast coral reefs, involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed off on land. The approval lists a number of strict conditions that the project must fulfil before going ahead, including how and where the sediment can be moved. The decision comes two months after the government approved Adani’s plan to build one of the world’s biggest mines.
Massive port 
The expansion will create a huge port capable of handling up to 120 million tonnes of coal per annum and would enable coal to be shipped from proposed mining projects in the Galilee Basin, like Adani’s Carmichael mine. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt issued the approval only after re-engineering reduced dredging by 97 per cent from the original proposal, according to his spokesman. 
Green concern
“All dredge material will be placed onshore on existing industrial land,” the spokesman said, adding the project has been approved in accordance with national environment law subject to 30 strict conditions. Conservationists Like Australian Maritime Conservation Society, The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Greenpeace have condemned the decision. Adani, however, welcomed the announcement, saying, “The expansion of Abbot Point is key to Adani’s plans to deliver 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and 22 billion dollars in taxes and royalties to Queensland.”     

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