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Indian mining giant Adani Group’s 16.5 billion dollar controversy-hit coal mineproject in Australia has inched closer to getting its mining lease after it struck a compensation deal with a local government body.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday at Queensland state’s Isaac Regional Council meeting.
Adani now needs to strike a similar compensation agreement for council infrastructure as well as landholders and native title holders before getting its mining lease in the resource-rich Queensland state.
That will then allow the company to make formal approaches to banks for financing for the one of the world’s largest coal mines.
Mayor of Isaac region in the state – Anne Baker, said Adani and Council have worked closely together to ensure a way forward and a positive outcome.
“Our joint focus is to responsibly deliver mutual and long-term economic benefits for the community,” Baker said adding, “This compensation agreement fundamentally provides Adani with access to Council roads and reserves integral to the project while maintaining public access.”
She said Queensland’s mining sector has suffered with over 20,000 jobs losses over the past two years.
“It’s essential our communities and our businesses benefit from the Carmichael project. Both parties are committed to commencing negotiations on the next and important step, the infrastructure agreement,” Baker further commented.
“Comprehensive maintenance agreements on existing infrastructure like road corridors are critical,” she said.
“The infrastructure agreement determines the extent of infrastructure works and maintenance over the life of the mine,” she said.
Welcoming the move, Adani CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj said, “Working together with Isaac Regional Council, the project is moving one step closer to delivering long term benefits to Queensland, while helping deliver higher quality, lower emitting coal that will help alleviate energy poverty in India.”
The mining compensation agreement recognises that part of Adani’s mining operations will be over council-controlled road and reserves.
The Queensland state in February gave environmental approval to controversy-hit project but with about 140 conditions.
Adani’s plan to build one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been hampered time and again.
A federal court in August last year had revoked the original approval due to a bureaucratic bungle over two vulnerable species — the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.
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