explainer

Last week, the Adani mine was approved. It's been described as "an assault to our planet".

— With AAP.

In 2010, Adani began the approval process to establish two new mines and a rail line in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

Last week, almost a decade later, Adani won the final approval it needs to construct its proposed mine.

On Thursday afternoon, Queensland’s environment department signed off on a plan to manage groundwater on and around the company’s Galilee Basin mine site.

The approval was signed despite enduring concerns held by some water experts that the mine could kill off an ancient springs complex, and have dire effects on the health of the Carmichael River.

But what exactly is Adani and why are people so angry about it?

What Adani means for Australia. Post continues after podcast. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the approval of the Adani mine:

What is Adani?

The Adani Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate. The company, which was founded by self-made billionaire Gautam Adani, want to build a coal mine in Central Queensland, inland from the Great Barrier Reef.

The mine will be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the biggest in the world. But it won’t be as big as Adani initially anticipated.

The previous estimated cost for the mine was $16.5 billion but after the company were unable to source funds for the mine from any bank in Australia following pressure from environmental activists, Adani announced it would instead self-finance the mine for $2 billion.

adani
Image: Getty.
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Where is the Adani mine?

The approved Adani Carmichael coal mine is located in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. It is located approximately 160 kilometres north-west of the town of Clermont, which has a population of just 3,031 people.

A railway line to the Carmichael coal mine, which is to be constructed, will travel from the mine to the town of Moranbah, where it will join an existing railway system.

This railway line will allow for coal to be transported from the mine to Abbot Point Point – near the Great Barrier Reef – where the coal will be shipped overseas.

It's believed an airport and a lease for mine workers' housing are also due to be granted by late July, according to The Conversation.

How many jobs is Adani really going to create?

For several years, both Adani and a number of politicians claimed that the new mine would create 10,000 jobs in Central Queensland.

The reality, however, is very different.

Last week, Adani chief executive Lucas Dow confirmed the mine would create 1,500 direct jobs and 6,750 indirect jobs.

"Mining can and should be a provider of quality employment for regional Australians," he said, according to the Courier Mail.

What will it do to the environment and why are people so angry about it?

The Adani mine has been described as "sickening" and "an assault to our planet", but what will it actually do to the environment and why are people so angry about it?

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According to Fight For Our Reef, the Adani mine is expected to generate an estimated 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over its entire lifetime.

As a result, there are concerns about what impact the coal mine could have on climate change. After all, the mining and burning of coal is known to be the single leading cause of climate change.

The mine site and its rail line also intersects with a number of endangered and vulnerable species. Some species that may be affected by the mine include several species of whale, dugongs, hawksbill turtles and the southern black-throated finch. According to Fight For Our Reef, it's believed over a million cubic metres of the seafloor would be cleared for a new coal terminal, threatening the habitat of a number of species.

This will also affect the Great Barrier Reef. As the mine could allow 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year, activists are concerned about what could happen in the event of a spill or an accident.

In one incident concerning Adani in 2011, a ship carrying Adani coal sank, causing an oil and coal spill along Mumbai's coast. The spill damaged tourism and polluted the surrounding marine environment.

Adani is also facing legal action from the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the traditional owners of the land that the mine and rail will be built on.

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