Adani approval ‘catalyst’ for more mines in Galilee

THE political shift in Adani approvals has sparked investor confidence, with the Carmichael mine closer to being realised as the linchpin of the Galilee Basin.

A decision on Adani's groundwater management plan, which could allow the mining giant to break ground within weeks, is due to be handed down by the Queensland Environment Department today.

Resolve Coal managing director Gordon Saul, who has interests in the Galilee Basin, said the "tenor of conversations" with private equity companies had changed "very significantly" in recent weeks.

He said the Carmichael project was "absolutely" a catalyst for other mines.

"The willingness of the State Government to accelerate what had been a frustrating permit and approvals process for Adani … sent some great signals to overseas investors," he said.

"We have been speaking to a North American private equity company who were very direct … one of the conditions they were looking for was Adani approvals.

"So it's had a very material impact for us."

The Bully Creek coal project, part of the larger proposed Hyde Park mine by Australia-owned, Brisbane-based Resolve Coal, would produce two million tonnes of thermal coal a year and create 140 jobs, largely based in Charters Towers.

Adani's groundwater management plan is the last remaining environmental approval the company needs before it can start construction on its Carmichael mine.

The company has advertised more than 50 job opportunities at the mine in anticipation of a final approval sign-off.



Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING



It comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, following the drubbing of Labor at the federal election, sensationally stepped in and demanded her own government set a timeline of approvals.

Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O'Callaghan said the opening of the Galilee Basin would "turbocharge jobs, business and confidence" for the whole state, but particularly North Queensland.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the lobby group was "optimistic" now the "science has been done and taken out of the political arena".

He said Adani's environmental approvals, should the groundwater management plan be approved, had provided the infrastructure and baseline data for other proponents.

"It will be less expensive for the next group of mines," he said.

The construction of Adani has long been seen as the catalyst for other mine projects in the Galilee Basin, six in particular that have proposals before the Federal Environment Department.

This includes two mines belonging to Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal and two belonging to GVK Hancock.

Townsville enterprise CEO Patricia O'Callaghan. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Townsville enterprise CEO Patricia O'Callaghan. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Waratah Coal has applied for two mining leases covering 220,000ha of land, an area three times the size of Townsville City.

Mr Macfarlane said the decision in May by China-owned company MacMines not to bid for a mining lease for its China stone project was a "positive more than negative".

"You always have to make sure that you are well-resourced before you take the next step," he said.

"They're just reassessing and making sure (the product they've found) is what it is."

Mr Saul said progress on Adani was positive but there were still infrastructure challenges in the Galilee.

"We are a still a number of years away from seeing coal come out of the Galilee Basin," he said.