Adani's Carmichael Mine: a threat?

The Adani group is an Indian multinational, conglomerate company. Founded back in 1988 by Gautam Adani, the group has a variety of businesses such as agribusiness, real estate, defence, and aerospace to name a few. With its headquarters in Ahmedabad, the company has an annual revenue of $13 billion US dollars with operations swamping 50 countries. Since 2016, the company works under Karan Adani, the founder's son, and is owned by the S.B. Adani Family Trust.

The Carmichael Coal mine was proposed in 2010 by Adani Mining Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the Adani Group from India, under Adani Australia for its Australian projects. It is a thermal coal mine located in the northern Galilee Basin in Central Queensland owned by Adani mining. As of 2014, the mine planned to contain six open-cut pits and five underground mines. Covering an area of 44,700 hectares, operations at the mine are expected to consume 12 billion litres of water every year. Out of 6 billion litres, only a small portion of 6 percent is meant to be returned.

The Adani Group received large amounts of backlash due to the mine. People have been protesting and expressing their concerns about the mine under the hashtag ‘#StopAdani’. The campaign against the mine has become the largest environmental campaign in Australia since the 1980s.The biggest contributor to global warming is pollution through burning coal. Coal mining pollutes and reduces our already diminishing water levels.The Group will draw billions of litres of water from the basins which threatens Australia's groundwater.

Even though the group received the final approval needed for the mine early in June 2019, people have various issues regarding the mine. One of the main concerns about the Carmichael mine is it’s impact on the already diminishing Great Barrier reef.

The Great Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, located off the coast of Queensland. The mine is home to a variety of marine creatures and beings. The Carmichael mine project is estimated to produce 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over its duration. By allowing the burning and mining of coal, it increases carbon pollution which causes the heating up and acidifying of the ocean, this bleaches and withers the corals. The Great Barrier Reef is almost half-dead and instead of allowing the continuous function of such mines and causing further damage,rational ways of preserving this reef must be given more attention..

The mine also would drive large industrial expansion along the coast. A minimum of one million cubic meters of the ocean bed would need to be dredged for a new coal terminal. This would threaten the home of dolphins, turtles, and dugongs. The mine would also cause hundreds of coal ships to pass through the reef which increases the risk of accidents by sea traffic. A single oil spill or collision would be disastrous in innumerable ways.

Some of the other problems people brought forward were; for starters, Adani's mine, rail and port projects will destroy the lands of ancestral and indigenous heritage. The Wangan and Jagalingou in the surrounding areas is an add-on. In 2016, the Wangan and Jagalingou population voted a ratio of 294 to 1 in favour of Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Adani.

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The Adani group also has a shocking record of prosecution overseas, illegal dealings, bribery, allegations of corruption, and fraud to name a few.

Citizens have different varied views on this topic, one citizen stated "Most Australians have been against this mine from the outset. But despite signing petitions & making donations we were no match for big business collars & false media promises of local jobs. Now Adani has been given the go-ahead sign for a few pieces of silver. It is tragic and insane." While another citizen stated that it is only the ego-activists that are against the mine and the rest of the citizens are not against it.

In May of 2014, the Queensland coordinator general suggested that the project be approved. They had a call for public comments and objections. They contended that Adani majorly overstated the number of jobs and royalties the mine would offer to the public. Also, that the mine would threaten the base flow of the Carmichael river and could affect the ancient springs that are estimated to be a million years old. The mine would also destroy the central population of the Black-Throated Finch which is already endangered. They also mentioned that the project is very unlikely to be financially viable.

The Carmichael mine seems to have more adverse effects than good ones. Overall, the project is risky and can potentially cause a large amount of environmental damage. Is it really worth risking the reef, climate, and well being of the country over a coal mine?


Author: Jaden Sarah

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