Adani Enterprises said on Tuesday that it has given final investment approval for the Carmichael mine and rail projects in Queensland.
"The project has Final Investment Decision approval, which marks the official start of one of the largest single infrastructure and job-creating developments in Australia's recent history," Adani Chairman Gautam Adani said in a statement.
The company has said the project, at an initial cost of $4 billion, would pay billions of dollars in royalties and taxes, create jobs and export coal to India help bring electricity to rural regions.
The controversy-hit Carmichael coal mine project is one of the world's largest. The project, which involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to be later disposed off on land, received approval in April for a water licence from Queensland state government.
The 400-kilometre railway line would link Carmichael coal mine in Queenslands Galilee Basin to the port at Abbot Point, north of Bowen town.
The company signed a 74 million dollar landmark deal with Australian steel group Arrium on 4 May to buy steel for the rail line.
In December, Adani had applied for the loan to build the line through the North Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), which was set up to encourage private sector investment in the region, it said.
According to rules, NAIF can only support projects that are "unlikely to proceed or will only proceed at a much later date, or with a limited scope, without financial assistance", the report said.
Meanwhile, Adani Australia has been advised by Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that the Australian Labor Party will offer bipartisan support to the Commonwealth governments amendments to the Native Title Act, the company said in a statement.
Shorten, who in the past has extended his support to the project, was opposed to the granting of a Commonwealth loan, the ABC reported.
The proposed railway line would be open to other users, with Minister for Northern Australia senator Matt Canavan saying it had the potential to spur at least another three mining ventures. "The level of wealth that could be unlocked is comparable to that of the Hunter Valley or the Bowen Basin," Canavan said.
The Carmichael coal mine project has been dogged by delays, facing opposition from several environmentalist groups as well as members of the indigenous community.
Green groups are opposed to the project, saying carbon emitting fossil fuels should be phased out to tackle climate change.
The Adani group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north.
Published Date: Jun 06, 2017 08:46 AM | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 08:46 AM