Mining (3)
Workers are seen underground South Africa's Gold Fields South Deep mine in Westonaria, 45 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa, March 9, 2017. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Australia is looking to back a concessional loan of almost $1 billion that will be used for constructing the world’s largest coal mine. The loan to Indian conglomerate Adani Group comes as the Carmichael project has been affected by protestors citing environmental concerns.

Referring to the $900 million concessional loan from a development fund, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it is a “great idea” that would result in increasing employment opportunities. The project, as part of which a new precinct for extraction from the Galilee Basin of Australia’s second largest export will be established, is expected to create as many as 3,000 jobs and provide India with thermal coal.

Joyce said the benefits of the project overshadow concerns of the mine being in close vicinity to the Great Barrier Reef. “We want to get this show up and running. It’s a A$16 billion investment that is going to be great for people who have just been through a major cyclone to make sure we have jobs for them,” Joyce said on state radio on Tuesday.

Joyce’s comments came as Bill Shorten said he stood opposed to the idea of companies like Adani Group receiving financial loans from the federal ­government. While he was “very keep to see jobs in mining,” Shorten emphasised no loan should be offered to the company.

“But I also have to sound this note of caution: we need the Adani project to stack up,” Shorten said in Brisbane. “It needs to stack up environmentally, it needs to stack up commercially. I haven’t seen the case made for the taxpayer to underwrite a billion-dollar loan … to build a rail line.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is currently on a trip to India where he met Adani Group founder Gautam Adani. As part of the project, the mine will be producing thermal coal with the purpose of generating electricity. It will operate for as long as six decades. From six open-cut pits and five underground mines, the company expects to produce 60 million metric tons of thermal coal per year.

Following his meeting with Adani, Turnbull said the project would lead to the creation of “tens of thousands of jobs” and enhance state and federal budgets for years. “So plainly there is a huge economic benefit from a big project of this kind, assuming it’s built and it proceeds,” Turnbull said.

Source: YouTube/OneIndia News