Adani's $16 bn Australian coal project gets nod for rail link: report

Gautam AdaniAdani Group's climbed another step in its attempt to set up its proposed $16-billion coal mine-cum-railway project in northern Austraila with the project securing the nod for construction of about 31.5km of permanent track, as well as a temporary 300-bed camp.

Gautam Adani's Adani Enterprises Ltd, struggling for over 7 years to build the controversial $16 billion coal project in Australia's Queensland state, has now won most of the government approvals for building the coal mine/. The rail link, which will service the mine, is a part of project.

Adani is expected to meet with the premier of Queensland in the northern city of Townsville on Tuesday.

Adani was also expected to meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday, amid local media speculation the federal government could contribute A$1 billion (583.55 million pounds)in rail funding.

"I do expect to meet Mr Adani and I have got no doubt we will be discussing his proposed substantial investment in Queensland," Turnbull told reporters in Melbourne.

The Carmichael mine has faced years of legal delays, especially from environmental groups opposed to mining and its possible impact it will have on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Adani Group had in October stated it was preparing to start construction of the mine in 2017, although it still faces several court challenges and appeals.

Queensland state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she will meet Gautam Adani on Tuesday to gain an assurance the firm will use local labor for the coal, rail and port project, rather than foreign workers.

The mine would be twice the size of Australia's current largest coal mine and would yield as much as 60 million tonnes of coal per year from the site for 60 years.

Prices for the thermal coal Adani would mine have doubled since June to more than $100 a tonne last month as electricity generators across Asia clamor for limited supplies, but have recently eased back to around $90.

Adani last month said it had secured land to build two solar farms in Australia, together worth A$400 million ($300 million) as part of a five-year drive to construct 1,500 megawatts of solar energy plants in the country.