Australia approves controversial coal project


This is required to identify any potential contribution from other aquifers and strengthen the GDEMP.

This includes further work to understand source aquifers for springs in the vicinity of the mine, including the Doongmabulla springs complex, conducting hydrogeochemical analysis of groundwater and spring samples from different springs, and examining core samples from new bores to better understand their hydraulic properties and provide detailed geological mapping.

A protester holds a sign as he participates in a national Day of Action against the Indian mining company Adani's planned coal mine project in north-east Australia, at Sydney's Bondi Beach in Australia, October 7, 2017.

Adani has passed its final environmental approval and can now begin work on its Carmichael mine in Central Queensland after almost nine years of planning, fierce protests and endless political debate.

CSIRO and Geoscience Australia also confirmed some level of uncertainty in geological and groundwater conceptual models always existed.

Adani chief executive Lucas Dow was "really excited" they could now begin the two-year construction period for the mine and rail.

Further seismic studies may also need to be undertaken.

"Likewise, if the hydrogeological conceptualisation differs from that of the approved project, approval must be sought prior to relevant impact causing activities", it said. The plan's approval at a state level removes the final legislative hurdle standing in the mine's way.

However, while the state approvals have been granted, Adani has to revisit one of Carmichael's federal approvals.

The Australian Conservation Foundation challenged the approval and on Wednesday succeeded in the case, with the government admitting it failed to properly consider public responses to the proposal and even lost some submissions.

First acquired by Adani in 2010, the project is slated to produce 8-10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year and cost up to $1.5 billion, but has been mired in court battles and opposition from green groups.

The ACF launched a case in December challenging then Environment Minister Melissa Price's failure to apply the water trigger to Adani's pipeline proposal.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the decision was made exclusively by her department and that cabinet members had nothing to do with it.

"The people of Queensland have had to do more than wait too".

"Donors and politics trumped science today - but this fight is not over", Ms Waters said.

Tom Crothers, a former general manager for water allocation and planning in the Queensland government, accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of pressuring bureaucrats to approve the plan.