Mines Minister Anthony Lynham (left), Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Adani's Jeyakumar Janakaraj.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham (left), Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Adani's Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Chris Lees

Shock court decision could see the end of Adani's mine

A NATIVE title dispute in Western Australia has sent shockwaves around Australia and could have serious ramifications for Adani's $21billion Carmichael mine.

After five years of negotiations, on Thursday the Federal Court found one of the largest native title deals in Australian history between the WA Government and the Noongar people could not be registered because some Aboriginal representatives refused to sign off on it.

The decision by the Federal Court now leaves scores of native title deals across Australia potentially void, including those in Central Queensland.

Both State and Federal governments were left chasing legal advice on whether proposed development projects would be valid.

The Townsville Bulletin reported Attorney-General George Brandis had been poring over the judgment to determine whether urgent legislation was required to avert a crisis.

An Adani spokesman said the company had sought legal advice on the implications of the case on its project and wanted assurances from the Queensland Government that the decision will not derail its planned Galilee Basin mega mine.

Adani's planned mine in the Galilee Basin was expected to invest billions into the economy and generate thousands of jobs.

In December last year, after months of speculation and rivalry between Central Queensland cities, the Indian coal company chose Townsville as its corporate headquarters.

Mackay was selected as the operational centre, while Rockhampton and Townsville remain in the running as FIFO hubs.

In the days since the Federal Court's ruling, one senior industry insider source said the mining industry had been "in meltdown over this".

"This has devastating implications, not just for mining but for any development that was subject to an indigenous land use agreement.''

A High Court challenge to the decision would take a minimum of 12 months to process.