Australias Newest $16B Coal Mine is One of Worlds Largest
The Carmichael Coal mine is officially ready for creation.
The Queensland government has signed off on the $16-billion coal development in the Galilee Basin in the state’s central region. Located north-west of Clermont, the Carmichael Coal mine will produce up to 60 million tons of coal each year and is expected to be one of the biggest coal mines in the world.
"If it proceeds, the Carmichael project would not only be the largest coal mine in Australia but one of the largest in the world,” said Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney. "But it would also be a vital project in opening up the hugely significant Galilee Basin."
Operating the mine will be Adani Mining and the company is forecasted to start shipping coal to India in 2106. The coal will be shipped through the controversial Abbott Point terminal.
The project will include a 189-kilometre rail line, water supply infrastructure, a workers’ accommodation village and airport. The mine is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction and 3,900 permanent jobs when operations begin
As part of the approval, Adani will be required to “make-good agreements with all affected landholders including the identification and provision of alternative water supplies.”
“Adani will also be required to contribute water monitoring data and funding to a Galilee region water resource model," Seeney said.
The Carmichael mine has been plagued with an array of criticism and controversy as of late. Environmental groups have slammed the state’s development and planning department for allowing the coal mine and rail project to proceed in the Galilee Basin. Even U.S. ice cream Company Ben & Jerry’s is getting involved, launching its own Save the Reef campaign in Australia.
Upon approval from the government, Adani Mining is required to abide strict conditions regarding the mine.
“The stringent and wide-ranging conditions set by the coordinator-general include protections for local flora, fauna, landholder interest, ground water resources, the quality of surface water leaving the project site, air quality and noise and dust levels," Mr Seeney said.
"Projects that have languished for years in approvals are now being efficiently, yet rigorously assessed, signalling that Queensland is open for business.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”