MAC: Mines and Communities

Adani accused of scare-mongering over Carmichael mine project

Published by MAC on 2019-05-03
Source: ACF, Guardian (2019-05-03)

And it won't be for the first time

The infamous Adani Carmichael coal mine, proposed for Queensland, has been belaboured by scientific findings that the scheme would put at dire risk, both the rare black finch, and water availabity in the region.

The Indian  company is again being accused of releasing "bogus" information and creating a "fake urgency for approval" in the run-up to the Australian general election. [see also: Adani faces an Aussie pinch ]

ACF backs rejection of Adani’s finch plans – new analysis shows land disturbance of proposed mines

Australian Conservation Foundation

3 May 2019

Analysis shows six proposed mines – including Adani’s Carmichael project – would disturb 155,491 hectares of land, 81,493 hectares of which would be completely cleared.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has backed the Queensland Government’s decision to reject Adani’s management plan for the Black-throated finch, arguing that management plans are where the rubber hits the road for threatened species and Adani’s proposed Galilee Basin coal mine would devastate critical habitat for the bird.

Analysis released today by ACF shows six of the coal mines planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin would disturb an area of land more than five times the size of Stradbroke Island and completely clear nearly 35,000 hectares of the Black-throated finch’s best remaining habitat.

The analysis found the six proposed mines – including Adani’s Carmichael project – would disturb 155,491 hectares of land, 81,493 hectares of which would be completely cleared.

The proposed Galilee Basin mines would disturb 50,977 hectares of black-throated finch habitat, 34,156 of which would be completely cleared.

“The black-throated finch is on the verge of extinction and these coal mines would totally destroy or degrade most of the high-quality finch habitat that’s left,” said Christian Slattery, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Stop Adani Campaigner.

“A recent scientific paper in Environmental Science and Policy journal set out how the endangered finch, which was once widespread across north-eastern Australia, is no longer found in 88 per cent of its former range.

“The area where Adani wants to dig the Carmichael mine is home to the largest known population of black-throated finches and some of the best remaining habitat.

“Adani says the approvals for its mine are subject to the strictest environmental conditions in history, but these conditions are only meaningful if they are backed by credible management plans. Adani has relentlessly attacked and undermined the scientists who conducted an expert review of its black-throated finch management plan.

“Scrutiny of these plans is essential, because management plans are where the rubber hits the road for environmental impacts.

“Extinction is forever – Adani must not be allowed to consign this bird to history. Already 29 Australian birds have gone extinct in the last 200 years.

“To prevent the extinction of the black-throated finch we need to stop ripping up its habitat for dirty new coal mines and companies like Adani should stop trying to discredit scientists.”

The analysis examined data from the Queensland Coordinator General and environmental impact statements relating to six proposed coal mines: Carmichael, China Stone, Kevin’s Corner, Alpha Coal Project (mine only), Galilee Coal Project (mine only) and South Galilee Coal Project. The analysis did not consider Clive Palmer’s Alpha North mine because it is too early in the assessment process to accurately quantify the damage it would do to the finch’s habitat. (Adani’s planned ‘conservation area’ for the finch is on the proposed Alpha North mine site.)


Carmichael coalmine: Adani's own modelling reveals water permit shortfall

Mining group is blaming the Queensland government for delays but environmental groups says this is ‘bogus’

Ben Smee

The Guardian

27 April 2019

Adani does not hold water permits with sufficient capacity to supply the initial construction phase of the Carmichael coal project, based on its own modelling of water consumption.

The company has repeatedly stated it is “ready to start” building the mine and has publicly sought to blame the Queensland government for delays in approving necessary management plans.

But environmental groups say a shortfall in the capacity of the company’s water permits is evidence the company’s readiness claims are “bogus” and designed to heap political pressure on decision-makers.

Publicly available Queensland government information shows Adani holds two short-term water permits, for Mistake Creek and the Belyando River, which expire in April and June this year.

Those permits allow the company to take a combined 1775 megalitres of water.

Documents released under freedom of information laws show Adani’s own modelling, completed by consultant CDM Smith, estimates the Carmichael mine will require 3358ML during the first year of construction.

Carmel Flint, from the environmental group Lock the Gate, said the new information suggested Adani “does not have the water permits it needs to construct the mine, which is more evidence Adani’s claims that it is ready to start work are bogus”.

“It’s clear Adani has created a fake urgency for approvals in the lead-up to the election, and the company got exactly what it wanted: a rushed approval from Scott Morrison’s government which was tainted by political interference,” Flint said.

In a statement, Adani said it had the necessary water permits required “for mining operations” but did not specifically address the project’s construction phase.

“It is standard for major projects to regularly update their required permits and licences for on-site and off-site construction and operational activities, and in this process Adani Mining expects to be treated like any other Queensland mining company.”

Adani said there were additional potential water sources for the mine site, including groundwater, rain water and recycled water.

The former Queensland government general manager of water allocation and planning, Tom Crothers, said the water Adani could access without additional permits would be “no more than a puddle” and “nowhere near enough” to make up the shortfall.

Adani’s claims it is ready to begin construction of the Carmichael coalmine have made the project a prominent issue on the federal election campaign trail.

The federal environment minister, Melissa Price, approved Adani’s groundwater plans in the days before the government entered caretaker mode.

The approval allowed LNP politicians and candidates in Queensland to claim the project is being delayed by the state Labor government, because key management plans still require state approval.

In that context, Adani has heaped on pressure by ramping-up an advertising campaign, including billboards, print advertisements and letterbox drops, that attack the Queensland government for “moving the goalposts”.

Adani told Guardian Australia in March: “We are not engaged in political advertising.

“The intent of our communication campaign is to inform the people of Queensland about the true status of our project.”

 

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