Massive investor will withdraw from Adani over Queensland mine

The Carmichael coal project in central Queensland has lost Adani another investor.

Mar 23, 2021, updated Mar 23, 2021
Mine development at the Carmichael coal project in central Queensland (Photo: Bravus)

Mine development at the Carmichael coal project in central Queensland (Photo: Bravus)

According to Bloomberg reports, global investment company Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) said it would no longer take part in bond offerings from Adani Ports, a sister company of Adani Australia.

Pimco is one of the world’s biggest investment managers with $US2.21 trillion ($A2.85 trillion) in assets and was the biggest known bondholder in Adani Ports, with over $US100m invested.

Pimco’s decision is based on its strategy to decarbonise its investment portfolio and its decision centred on Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project in central Queensland under the Bravus name.

Pimco is owned by Germany’s Allianz SE.

It said the Adani bonds it currently holds would be allowed to run to maturity.

Deutsche Bank AG also withdrew from Adani Ports’ recent bond offer due to environmental concerns.

Adani has faced years of activism over the project which will produce thermal coal for electricity generation in Asia.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) said it was committed to strengthening its environmental and social governance performance across its operations.

The recent USD bond issuance in January 2021 saw strong participation from institutional investors across Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the US, achieving an oversubscription ratio exceeding 4.2 times.

“This demonstrates global investors’ confidence in APSEZ’s operational excellence and its commitment to sustainable environmental practices. APSEZ business and future investments are aligned to sustainable growth and to become carbon neutral by 2025,” a spokesperson said.

“We are unaware of Pimco’s position on participation in the bond offerings of APSEZ.”

Closer to home, the Carmichael project was facing local opposition from neighbouring farmers David and Katie Luke who have threatened to use their bulldozer to block the mine-access road because of what they claimed were breaches of a compensation agreement with Bravus.

It follows criticism of the company by the pro-mining Isaac Regional Council.

Last month the council said it was dissatisfied with the behaviour of Adani over development of the Carmichael mine and at its monthly meeting unanimously supported an urgent Mayoral Minute raising several issues in relation to work to date on the mine.

“Frankly, Isaac Regional Council have lost patience with the behaviour of this company,” Mayor Anne Baker said.

“We are disappointed with Adani’s treatment of local landholders and their non-compliance with some of their obligations, and also disappointed by exclusive job advertising in and around Rockhampton and Townsville and not local communities like Clermont.

“Adani are not being good corporate citizens and we remind them that their social licence to operate is a precious thing they should value and protect.”

A Bravus spokesperson said the company valued its relationship with all our neighbours and had worked hard to ensure the  project could co-exist with their existing pastoral businesses.

“We understand and share Mr Luke’s frustration that we have been unable to complete upgrades to the publicly-owned council road and complete fencing on his property. We require approval of our proposed road design from Isaac Regional Council prior to us being able to undertake the works,” Bravus said.

“We regret that one of Mr Luke’s cattle was injured by traffic on the public road and subsequently had to be euthanised.

“We have previously compensated landowners on the rare occasion when their cattle have been injured and would be willing to do the same for Mr Luke if he requests compensation.

“We will continue to actively pursue approvals from Isaac Regional Council so we can get on with upgrading the public road, including the section in front of Mr Luke’s property, as soon as possible.

“We continue to seek resolution with the Isaac Regional Council in relation to approval of our plans to spend more than $100 million to upgrade the council-owned road. This work will create more than 100 jobs in the region over the next two years.”


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