Australian Resource Minister Martin Ferguson and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman are in India to sign a $10-billion agreement with the Indian company, The Adani Group, to develop a coal mining project in the Galilee basin.
The coal mining industry in Australia's Hunter Valley region in New South Wales is now again in the center of a debate as Australian health experts clamored for a health impact study following international evidence which stated that Australia lacked research that studied the possible ill effects of coal mining in the communities.
The signing of the deal will follow the completion by The Adani Group of a comprehensive geotechnical field investigation at Carmichael Mine which estimated potential output at 10 billion tonnes, making it the largest coal tenement in the world.
The venture will create 4,000 long-term jobs to include the construction of a mine, rail and port infrastructure.
Mr Newman said Adani is not just a trading partner, but a trading ally. The Indian company has invested $3 billion in Australia and is expected to invest $7 billion more in the coming years. It operates the Abbot Point coal terminal which it purchased in 2011. Adani plans to boost the port's annual capacity to 120 million tonnes from the current 50 million tonnes.
To fund the venture, Adani is considering a $1.5-billion global bond issue and stake sale.
Mr Ferguson said the regulatory clearances for the Carmichael Mine project are expected to be out by mid-2013, while the first tranche of mining is slated to begin January 2016 with an initial production of 23 million tonnes of coal, expected to further rise to 60 million tonnes yearly by 2022.
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani described the partnership of the Indian company with Australia and Queensland as characterised by trust, transparency and understanding.
"Australian industry and the Indian corporate like the Adani Group have some distinctive synergies, which will prove to be of mutual benefit to all in the long run," SkyNews quoted Mr Adani.
However, a Bloomberg report in March 2012 said that Adani had problems with the country's government and was expected to be investigated for possible money laundering following the imposition of penalty by India's Enforcement Directorate on Rajesh Adani, managing director of Adani Enterprise and Gautam's brother, for violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and Customs Act.
Here is the YouTube video of the Bloomberg report.
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