Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) has approved Adani’s groundwater management plan (GDEMP) for its Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.
The authorisation represents the final regulatory obstacle in the review process, with Adani beginning construction in the coming days.
DES released a statement saying the assessment of the GDEMP was “rigorous” to ensure the “plan is robust and provides the maximum environmental protection.”
Having taken advice from the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, DES established that the GDEMP sufficiently establishes the main source aquifer of the Doongmabulla Springs Complex as the Clematis Sandstone.
The approval also charges Adani to additional commitment to monitoring water sources in the region, which includes undertaking hydrogeochemical analysis of groundwater and spring samples from within each spring complex.
Adani will also be required to review hydrological, hydrochemistry analyses and seismic information as part of its second geological and groundwater remodelling after box cut mining starts.
Adani chief executive officer Lucas Dow welcomed the announcement, saying the company will now move its focus to ensuring the safety of those working on the project and the surrounding environment.
“Over the coming days preparatory activities such as finalising contracts, mobilising equipment, recruitment and completing inductions will continue, these preparatory actions will enable us to then start construction activities,” he said.
These will include fencing, bridge and road upgrades, water management and civil earthworks on the mine site, with the level of construction activity to steadily increase over the coming weeks.
The project is expected to deliver 1500 direct and 6750 indirect jobs during ramp up and construction, with Rockhampton and Townsville being the primary hubs for employment.
“Throughout the past eight years regional Queenslanders have been beside us every step of the way and we thank them for their ongoing support. We’re ready to start work on the Carmichael Project and deliver the jobs these regions so badly need,” Dow said.
Queensland Resources Council praised the announcement, with chief executive Ian Macfarlane saying the finalisation of the plan meant the project could now get underway and start delivering returns to Queensland.
“The Adani Carmichael mine is one of six in the Galilee Basin that could create tens of thousands of jobs in construction and operation and deliver billions of dollars in royalties over their working life span,” he said.
“Everyone should accept this ruling and let the project proceed. Queenslanders have sent a very clear message that the stalling tactics of activists must stop. Central Queenslanders and North Queenslanders are ready to get on with these jobs and deliver for our entire state.”