Adani Defers Investment Decision On Controversial Australian Coal Project

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says there was no offer of lower royalties made to Adani

"In light of that, Adani has today deferred a decision by the board on FID until the government makes a decision".

Indian energy giant Adani today deferred a final investment decision on its much-delayed 21.7 billion dollar Carmichael coal mine in Australia after the Queensland government failed to decide on royalties amounting to millions of dollars for the controversy-hit project.

Adani was expected to make a final investment decision (FID) on the 25 million tonnes per year coal mine and rail project by the month-end, but chose to defer it till June as the Queensland state government has yet to sign off on a royalty deal for the mine.

The federal government, led by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arrium earlier this month.

"The Stop Adani campaign involves 13 NGOs from across Australia who have come together", said Marnie Cotton, one of the protest organisers.

"We are in there batting for them, we are in Whyalla to make sure this project goes ahead", he said.

The Queensland government's failure to agree the terms of the royalty regime for the mine may jeopardize the development in the state's Galilee Basin, Canavan said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

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Gautam Adani, the billionaire chairman of Adani, said in March it could start mining coal from Carmichael in 2020.

Arrium was contacted but did not comment on the postponement of the project. "You can't expect Adani to make a multi-billion dollar decision, if they don't know what tax they will pay".

"If Adani can't afford to build the mine without free water, free money and free coal, then Queenslanders can't afford to let them build it at all", Ellen Roberts, a campaigner for activist group GetUp, told television channel ABC.

According to media reports last week, Adani under the deal could have paid as little as 2 million dollars a year in royalties for the first seven years and that would have later increased gradually.

Apart from the deferral of royalty payments, Adani is also seeking a $1 billion concessional loan from the federal government's $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to help pay for the rail link from the Carmichael mine to its Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen.

State premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was "firmly focused" on creating jobs and was working towards a compromise with Adani.

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