Indian mining giant Adani Group on Wednesday denied reports that it was pulling out of the Carmichael Project—Australia’s largest coal mining project that is proposed to come up in the state of Queensland.
“Adani has made a commitment to build a long-term future with Queensland that will deliver 10,000 jobs and $22 billion in royalties and taxes that will be reinvested back into community services,” an Adani spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
However, the company admitted that it had halted preparatory works for the project following a political dispute over mining and environmental approvals.
Sources told the Sydney Morning Herald that Adani has grown frustrated waiting for the Queensland government to both issue approvals for the mine and seek federal government approval to dump dredge spoil from mining operations at Abbot Point.
“It is important to note we are now into the fifth year of development and approvals and therefore the need to finalise those approvals and timelines is critical,” the Adani spokesperson told the newspaper.
Speculation over Adani’s future role in the project has been rife ever since The Guardian broke the story on Wednesday that four major contractors—WorleyParsons, Aecon, Aurecon and SMEC—had been advised to stop engineering works for the project’s rail, mine and port arms.
Adani’s Carmichael project has faced fierce opposition from environment groups because of the proximity of coal terminals at Abbot Point to the Great Barrier Reef.