Adani expects the Carmichael project to begin construction next year, following the Queensland Government’s decision to exempt it from new water legislation.
An Adani spokesperson said they hoped to commence the project in the September quarter, according to The Gladstone Observer.
This comes after the government passed new laws – an amendment to the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill – ordering all mines currently under development to obtain a groundwater licence.
The Carmichael mine, however, was exempt, through a new amendment outlining that companies that have already undertaken an environmental impact statement and the Land Court still need a licence but would not be subjected to the public objection process.
Adani said the amendment recognises their efforts to manage their impact on water, avoids duplication, and cuts down on delays.
“We are very encouraged the government did recognise the balance between its commitment on water licensing and acknowledging that this work has already been done in our case, and that the new provisions as originally drafted risked unintended duplication and activist appeals,” Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj said.
An Adani spokesperson said, “The water legislation was a significant road block for us, and now that it’s been resolved, we can focus on working through more machinery.”
However, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) expressed concern over the effects of the bill and its negative impact on investor confidence.
AMEC regional manager Les Cox said it would increase environmental requirements on both large and small projects.
“The additional and ‘strengthened’ assessments to be undertaken as part of the environmental authority application are still largely undefined and would seem to largely duplicate the already extensive reporting requirements at the expense, literally, of the smaller explorers and operators,” Cox said.
“The possibility of additional and more lengthy delays in the processing and granting of approvals will only serve to increase the risk profile of the resources industry in Queensland to explorers, operators, investors and financiers.”