PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday said that Indian major Adani’s two outstanding management plans for its multibillion-dollar Carmichael project should be resolved by June 13.
The deadline comes after the Premier earlier this week called a meeting between Adani, the Coordinator-General and the state’s environmental departments to hash out plans to finalise the two outstanding environmental management plans, including the groundwater management plan, which was earlier approved by the federal government, and a management plan for the endangered black-throated finch.
“The Coordinator-General has been working his guts out, frankly, and I’m very pleased that all parties have come to the table and have been working with the Coordinator-General,” Palaszczuk was quoted by papers on Friday.
Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow on Friday welcomed the Premier’s deadline, saying the company would work closely with the Queensland government to achieve the timeframes.
“This is a positive step towards construction of the mine and rail project. We will continue to uphold our end of the bargain and will undertake the necessary work to meet these timeframes, and we’re looking forward to the Queensland government doing the same.
“This will bring the lengthy, independent and rigorous two-year review process for these management plans to an end.”
There have been 11 versions of the groundwater management plan over the last two years, and seven of the black-throated finch management plan.
Dow said that he was also encouraged by the Coordinator-General’s decision to publish the government’s target dates for finalising other project-related milestones, including the dates for royalty agreements, finalising the deed of access and sublease for the rail line, and other relevant infrastructure agreements.
“We are determined to see this through for the benefit of Queensland and, in particular, for people in regional Queensland.”
Meanwhile, Chinese company MacMines has quietly suspended its bid for five mining lease applications for the China Stone project, adjacent to the planned Carmichael project.
The China Stone project had been slated to produce up to 55-million tonnes a year of run-of-mine coal, producing some 38-milion tonnes a year of thermal coal, which had been tipped for export.
The mine had been expected to have a project life of some 50 years, and would have employed some 3 400 staff during operations.
The Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy this week said that MacMines had voluntarily decided not to progress the five mining lease applications, but continued to hold an exploration permit for coal, and a mineral development licence.
MacMines has told the department that it was committed to converting the exploration authorities that underlie the area into a mining lease, and to develop the coal deposits, but only at a later date.
MacMines CEO Russell Phillips told the ABC China Stone’s future was under discussion, but added that it was “definitely not being shelved”.