Indian conglomerate the Adani Group have announced plans to push ahead with its $10 billion Carmichael Coal mine, rail and port project in central Queensland, flagging the need for 9000 workers.
Chairman Gautam Adani announced his company planned to export its first coal to India in 2016.
At 10 billion tonnes, Carmichael is considered the largest single coal tenement in the world.
Adani said the project would include construction of the mine, as well as rail and port infrastructure. The project is expected to create 5000 jobs during construction and 4000 permanent jobs when operation begins.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday promised their governments’ commitment to the plan, pledging to grant all regulatory and environmental approvals by the end of 2013.
"We welcome that commitment because we have to take advantage of this window where most other major (resources) projects are on hold, freeing up resources and manpower to expedite this project," Adani told The Australian.
"Having seen the speed and with the support received to undertake and complete the largest and most ambitious mining exploration program in record time, I am now certain that Queensland has been the right choice."
It is believed 60 per cent of the coal mined at Carmichael will head to India as demand from the country increased. The Indian government has indicated the country will require 185 million tonnes of imported coal annually by 2017.
"Indian demand for power is great but we are also one of the largest coal traders (selling coal across South and Southeast Asia) and Adani Power also has its own coal requirements so we're quite flexible," Adani said.
The confidence in the future of coal shown by Adani has not been echoed by other miners in the area who have cut jobs and shelved coal projects, blaming low commodity prices.
BMA closed its Norwich Park coal mine in March this year and also announced plans to shelve Red Hill Mine near Moranbah as well as Saraji East mine plans, near Dysart.
Xstrata Coal cut jobs at its Oaky Creek mine citing a ‘challenging market’ for the restructure.
While Anglo American have cut over 120 jobs at its coal operations in Queensland, blaming downturns in the coal industry.
However, Premier Newman told APN he believed Adani would use the caution showed by competitors to its advantage, as resources and manpower have been freed up in order to fast track construction.