Downcast Adani hits approvals obstacles
A FRUSTRATED Adani has lashed out at the State Government for allegedly trying to delay sign-off of its groundwater management plan by engaging in a "secretive and non-transparent additional review process".
The mining giant met with Department of Environment and Science officials on Friday, the first meeting since Adani's black-throated finch management plan was roundly rejected, in a move that could delay the mine for another five years.
During the meeting the department revealed it had requested more information and assessment from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia on Adani's groundwater plan.
Adani chief executive Lucas Dow said this flew in the face of the Department's previous commitment to accept the groundwater plan once it was ticked off by the Federal Government and not conduct further reviews.
"However, they have gone back on their word once again," he said.
"We are now facing (the) prospect of another tortuous and never-ending management plan approval process like the one we have endured for the black-throated finch.
"It appears this process will again go beyond the scope of what our project is required to deliver under regulatory conditions, and put simply is simply another fishing expedition."
Adani has two environmental plans that need to be ticked off by the State Government before work can begin at its Galilee Basin mine. The department has rejected its black-throated finch management plan and is demanding Adani meet a number of new commitments.
A Department of Environment and Science spokesman confirmed it had sought updated advice from CSIRO and GeoScience Australia.
"The department has sought updated advice from CSIRO and GeoScience Australia on the latest version of the GDEMP, which is not the version that was reviewed by CSIRO and GeoScience Australia," he said.
The spokesman said the advice would be crucial in assessing whether the latest version of the groundwater plan addressed conditions set out in the original environmental authority requirements.