Indian Coal Mine in Australia gets opposed by Australian People . Barnaby Joyce's 'duck pond' claim under fire as Adani coal row deepens . Here's what we know about Adani and the Carmichael mine project .
Barnaby Joyce has been called "irresponsible" by one of Australia's most senior conservationists after the Deputy Prime Minister dismissed wetlands adjoining Adani's Abbot Point coal port as little more than a "duck-shooting pond".
The brawl over Adani's threats to the onshore environment and the Great Barrier Reef escalated as Liberal backbencher Sarah Henderson broke ranks to question a potential $1 billion government loan to develop rail infrastructure for the Indian conglomerate's proposed Carmichael mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin.
Australian Conservation Council president Geoff Cousins said Mr Joyce had "failed to check his facts" on the Caley Valley wetlands, a 5000-hectare bird habitat that environmentalists say was damaged by coal dust contamination from the Adani terminal during cyclone Debbie.
Mr Joyce this week played down the wetlands' ecological value, describing it as a "swamp" built for duck shooters.
With approval granted for a permanent rail line and a temporary construction camp, Adani's much-touted and often doubted Carmichael coal mine has taken a large step closer to becoming a reality.
So who and what is Adani?
A multinational company based in Ahmedabad, India, Adani Group builds and operates mines, ports and power plants. The company has operations in coal, gas and renewable energy across India, Indonesia and Australia.
Adani Mining chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj has faced scrutiny for failing to disclose that a company he ran in Africa was guilty of serious environmental breaches, despite being asked to do so in a letter from the Federal Environment Department.
But Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has expressed confidence Adani will operate its Australian mine safely and that the Great Barrier Reef will be protected, with "200 stringent conditions placed on this project".
How big is the mine project?
Adani's $22 billion Carmichael mine will be built in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton.
Once complete, it will be Australia's largest coal mine, with six open-cut pits and up to five underground mines.
The Queensland Government estimated the life span of the mine to be between 25 and 60 years.
The newly approved 31.5 kilometres of permanent rail line will form part of a 389-kilometre heavy haul line from the mine in the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point port, south of Townsville.
Where will the coal go?
The mine will supply Indian power plants with enough coal to generate electricity for up to 100 million people.
Coal from the mine will be processed through the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland.
How many jobs will it generate?
Adani has claimed the mine and related operations will generate 10,000 jobs, however the Land Court of Queensland rejected this.
The court instead accepted the evidence of Adani's own expert witness, Dr Jerome Fahrer of ACIL Allen, who said that in net terms the Adani mine would increase average employment by about 1,200 jobs in north Queensland, and create 1,464 jobs Australia-wide.
Who has challenged the mine legally and why?
Environmental groups have listed multiple concerns about the mine's impact on the Great Barrier Reef and the expansion of Australia's coal sector.
Over the past six years, Adani said there had been more than 10 appeals and judicial processes. Here are some of the highest profile Federal Court cases:
What's the projected benefit to the economy?
Planning Australia's biggest mine
Step through the key events in the planning of Australia's biggest mining project, the Carmichael coal mine in remote central Queensland.
Adani estimates the project will generate at least $16.5 billion for the Australian economy, but the final figure is dependent on the mine's lifespan.
The State Government said it expected to receive many millions of dollars in mining royalties, which would be spent on upgrades for schools, hospitals and roads.
"Resources are extremely important for everyone in Queensland," Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said.
When will construction start?
Earlier this year, the Queensland Government gave the project critical status to fast-track environmental and other approvals.
The Government still has to approve a water licence and minor applications for power and road access before construction can start.
Adani has said it hopes work on the mine will start in the first half of 2017.
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