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Adani Group's Carmichael Coal Project Gets Delayed

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt has placed a new delay on the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal and rail project in central Queensland amid renewe...

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|Jun 17|magazine4 min read

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt has placed a new delay on the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal and rail project in central Queensland amid renewed concerns about environmental oversight.

Despite giving the go-ahead in May, worries that a port expansion to accommodate the project could hurt the World Hertiage-listed Great Barrier Reef have caused Australia to extend the final deadline until August 1.

"The date for a decision has been extended to ensure the minister can thoroughly consider the large volume of material associated with this project referral," Hunt's spokesperson said.

The Abbot Point port, which Adani plans to use for the coal project, is facing severe challenges from green groups fighting to stop the expansion that will dredge up three million meters of sand to be dumped near the Great Barrier Reef.

The move to postpone a decision until August 1 comes as the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is due to consider a proposal to vote next year on putting the Great Barrier Reef on the “in danger” list.

"Approving (the project) now would have been tantamount to an act of provocation, with UNESCO currently mulling the status of Australia's greatest natural icon," Greenpeace program head Ben Pearson said in a statement.

The Adani Group has said the Carmichael mine would be one of the largest coal mines in Australia with the capability of producing 60 million tons per year.