Adani Mining has had another victory in the ongoing legal battle against the Australian Conservation Foundation, with the Federal Court dismissing a challenge relating to the proposed Carmichael mine.
The ACF argues that the mega coal mine, to be situated west of Mackay in Central Queensland, would be a breach of the nations’ obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The ACF are particularly concerned with the impact of burning coal and climate pollution.
When the largest bleaching event on record was discovered to have killed off an estimated fifth or more of the reef’s corals, the case gained widespread interest and urgency since its original lodge date in November of 2015.
The ACF is concerned that as Australia’s largest mine, Carmichael, which will cover over 45,000 hectares, will produce as much carbon dioxide annually as New Zealand.
Adani, however, was happy with the verdict stating that it “again reinforces the stringency of the strict, science and evidence-based federal environmental approval process governing the company’s planned mine at Carmichael”.
Adani claims that, “At their core, these challenges have been about stopping investment and jobs as part of a wider activist campaign against mining”.
Matthew Canavan, federal minister for resources spoke out on Twitter saying the decision was “good news for jobs”.
“If the Carmichael mine proceeds, its coal will create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine, wiping out Australia’s efforts to reduce pollution and contributing to more frequent and severe bleaching events on the reef,” Kelly O’Shanassy, ACF’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“It is extraordinary that in 2016 a federal Environment Minister can argue in court that a mega-polluting coal mine will have no impact on the climate and the Great Barrier Reef,” she said. “We’ll do everything we can to stop this mine.”
Due to its enormous scale and potential environmental impacts, the Carmichael mine has been the subject of multiple legal cases since its announcement in 2010, and continues to be strongly opposed by regional and national conservation groups.
Adani said construction should begin in 2017.