The Australian government has given India’s Adani Group (NSE:ADANIENT) the green light for its $16.5 billion Carmichael coal and rail project in Queensland.
The project, which has undergone an array of obstacles, will become Australia’s largest coal mine and one of the largest in the world.
"We welcome the Minister's approval of the Carmichael Mine and Rail project, which takes us another step closer to delivering our multi-billion dollar mine, rail and port development," Adani Chairman Gautam Adani said in a statement.
Although approval for the Carmichael project was given in May, protests from environmentalist worried over carbon pollution caused major hurdles in the development process.
According to Australian environment minister Greg Hunt, the government has imposed 36 conditions for the project aimed at safeguarding groundwater in the Galilee Basin region of central Queensland.
“The absolute strictest of conditions have been imposed to ensure the protection of the environment, with a specific focus on the protection of groundwater,” Greg Hunt said in a statement.
"The strict conditions will ensure the protection of the environment as a paramount concern.”
He added, “I acknowledge the work of the previous state and federal ALP [Australian Labor Party] governments in advancing consideration of this project.”
The Carmichael project will consist of a network of open cut and underground mines in the Galilee Basin. Coal will be exported via the new Queensland rail line to the port of Abbot Point and approval to build a coal export terminal has already been given.
In addition to creating over 6,000 jobs, the Carmichael project will add $2.97 billion to the Queensland economy per year over the next 60 years.
The Adani Group estimates the mine will produce roughly 60 million tons of coal annually.
“Adani’s commitment to nation-building in India goes hand in hand with its commitment to providing sustainable employment opportunities for local workers and suppliers, not just through our rail infrastructure, but also our longer-term investments in ports and mining," Adani said.