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India's Adani wins green light for long delayed Australian coal mine

India's Adani wins green light for long delayed Australian coal mine

The proposed coal mine is the first of six waiting for approval to begin mining in Queensland's Galilee Basin, described as Queensland's last significant coal resources.

Adani's groundwater dependent management plan is the final environmental issue to be approved by both the Queensland and Australian governments and has sparked a range of protests from conservation groups and landholders.

Gautam Adani said in a statement, thanking the central and state governments in Australia, that the project would ensure energy security for India and create more jobs for Australia.

"The finalisation of the GDEMP and Black-throated Finch Management Plan paves the way for construction to commence on the Carmichael project and the delivery of much needed jobs for regional Queenslanders".

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Drawing a line under a decade of rancorous debate, Queensland's government said it had approved a groundwater management plan for Adani's Carmichael mine - the last major legal hurdle before construction could begin. The company will ramp up production to 27.5 million tonnes at the mine.

The groundwater plan has been extensively scrutinised by CSIRO, Geosciences Australia and criticised by seven prominent groundwater scientists earlier this week, demonstrating how Adani Mining plans to protect the region's underground water supplies as it extracts coal.

The approval comes as other developed nations step up strategies to meet Paris Agreement emissions targets, and as many banks and insurers scale back exposure to coal and to new thermal coal mines in particular. Holders of other coal deposits in the basin include some of Australia's wealthiest iron ore magnates such as Gina Rinehart, who has a joint venture with India's GVK Group, and controversial one-term politician Clive Palmer.

Environmental activists have contested the project since it was first proposed eight years ago because of concerns about global warming and the potential impact of its port operations on the Great Barrier Reef.