Setback For Adani As Australian Court Blocks Carmichael Mine

05/08/2015 11:39 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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In a major setback to conglomerate Adani Mining, Australia's Federal court on Wednesday overturned government environmental approval for the $16-billion Carmichael coal mine under construction in Australia.

Adani told Reuters that the adverse ruling was due to a "technical legal vulnerability" that had arisen because certain documents were not presented by the environment department in finalising the approval.

Australia's environment ministry, which cleared the project, was pulled up by the court for not adequately considering the risks the project posed to certain aquatic life.

The environment ministry said on its website that it was reviewing the court's decision and would re-consider the project's future within "six to eight weeks."

The court ruling came on the back of a long campaign by environmentalists, led by Greenpeace, who claim that the coal-mining project put Australia's Great Barrier Reef under threat and especially endangered the yakka skink and ornamental snake.

Adani, who recently suspended work in a number of areas on the mine, as it awaits government approvals, said it was confident the matter would be rectified.

Adani wants to ship millions tonnes of coal a year to India and has battled environmental opposition since starting work on the mine five years ago.

"It's not project dead because of a stuff up by the environment department," Adani spokesman Andrew Porter told Reuters.

Proponents of the project argue the project is needed if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to keep his promise to bring electricity to hundreds of millions of Indian, who have no access to electricity.

In April, French banks BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole said they did not intend to provide financing for coal mining in the Galilee Basin, joining several other European banks that have ruled out involvement on environmental grounds.

Adani rival GVK is also seeking approvals to dig a mine in the basin, a 247,000-square kilometre expanse in north-eastern Australia.

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