As per reports, the mega mine will cover 200
square kilometres and will include six open cut pits and five underground mines.
It is forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for export.
Greenpeace, the environmental issue advocacy
organisation, has already warned about the possible damages to be caused by the
project saying, “The mine would be linked to the coast by a new railway line,
crossing farmland and floodplains, and spreading toxic coal dust. The coal will
be loaded into ships at the new Terminal Zero jetty at Abbot Point, with huge
coal stockpiles and machinery wedged between the delicate Caley Valley wetlands
and a turtle-nesting beach, less than 100m away.”
The website of Adani mining however says that
“Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project will deliver many benefits to the local,
state and national economies.”
Mentioning that the proponent of the Carmichael
mine, Adani – a company with a history of environmental breaches – faces
multi-million dollar fines in India for violation of environmental clearances
and bypassing approval procedures, the ACF release assessed that coal from the
Carmichael mine, when burnt, would produce 128.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year,
at peak production, or four times the total carbon emissions of New Zealand.
“Mining uses huge quantities of water and this
mine will be a massive drain on Queensland’s precious groundwater resources,”
said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s healthy ecosystems campaigner
While the mine would take 297 billion litres of
underground aquifers and cause a drop in water table levels on which local
farmers rely, it would also destroy a significant proportion of the remaining
habitat of the endangered black-throated finch, said ACF.
The Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt said
to a part of media that Adani would return a minimum of 730 megalitres of water
to the Basin every year for five years.
“According to the federal environmental laws, we
have still put 36 of the strictest, toughest conditions that have ever been
imposed,” Hunt said.
Apprehending that the strictures would become
insufficient to protect the environment, Talukdar said, “While some of the
conditions imposed by the Environment Minister are welcome, they cannot stop
this mine from being an environmental disaster.”
“If the federal government’s proposed handover of
environmental approval powers to states goes ahead, there will effectively be
nobody to monitor or enforce compliance with these conditions, as the Queensland
department is under-resourced and incapable of adequately monitoring
compliance,” she said.