Adani’s Carmichael mine poised to finally reach ‘first coal’ within days

After a decade of controversy the Adani Carmichael thermal coal mine seems to be within grasp of shipping its first coal from its central Queensland site to its port, near Bowen.

Nov 26, 2021, updated Nov 26, 2021
Bravus workers holding the first coal from the exposed seam

Bravus workers holding the first coal from the exposed seam

After years of numerous court battles, billions of dollars, a political storm when it launched a high-risk campaign against the Palaszczuk Government, and waves of bad publicity over its fight with activists, the company is finally in the final days before exporting coal.

None of the scandal that has engulfed the company in the past decade seems to have affected the wealth of company’s chairman Gautum Adani who now is worth an estimated $US89 billion ($A122 billion), a mere $600 million short of becoming Asia’s richest man, a title currently held by Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and biggest shareholder in Indian company Reliance.

A final tally on the cost of Carmichael has never been released. Its original cost, when it earned the megamine title, was $21 billion, but it has been scaled back dramatically since then as it struggled to find capital.

It is currently commissioning the trains that will carry the thermal coal to the port and once that is complete it will be ready to export the thermal coal. The activists that have dogged the company at every step are likely to be ready. A protest from an indigenous group has been going on near the mine site for weeks.

Adani’s subsidiary Bravus will only say the mine was on track to ship its first coal this year and activists were expecting it to happen this weekend.

“Once testing and commissioning is complete, the trains will regularly haul coal along the new 200km Carmichael Rail Network and then join the existing Aurizon network for the final leg to Abbot Point, where coal will be unloaded at the North Queensland Export Terminal for shipping to customers overseas,” the company said.

“Since construction commenced on the Carmichael Project, Bravus Mining & Resources has provided more than 2600 direct jobs and paid more than $1 billion to regional Queensland contractors and businesses.”

But achieving first coal has had an enormous cost on the company. Its reputation has been badly tarnished by numerous scandals and companies associated with it have been attacked by activists.

Activist group Stop Adani was still trying to upset progress yesterday when it issued a media release about the US investment research firm, MSCI, which told its clients that Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (Adani Ports) would be removed from four of its climate indexes, after its links to the Carmichael thermal coal project in Australia escalated its controversy score to “severe”.



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