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Documents show Adani dodged paying adequate rehab bond, still wants 55mtpa mega mine

New documents obtained by Lock the Gate Alliance under Right To Information Laws and via the Public Register reveal Adani has paid a grossly inadequate rehabilitation bond to the Queensland Government, worth about 0.5 percent of its estimated revenue after five years of operation.

The documents also once again show the company wants to scale up the Carmichael mine to at least 55 million tonnes of coal per annum, plans recently backed up by comments from Adani staff when they thought no one was listening.

Lock the Gate Alliance has obtained Adani’s most recent Later Development Plan (LDP) via RTI application, which shows the company expects to rake in just short of $5B from its Carmichael coal mine by year five of operation.

Separately, documents obtained through the Queensland Public Register show the state's Department of Environment and Science requested Adani pay an Estimated Rehabilitation Cost (ERC) of just $26.4M. That ERC covers the five year period from 14 July 2020 and 14 July 2025.

That means the rehabilitation bond to be held during this period is just 0.5 percent of the mine's predicted revenue. This amount is significantly less than the $1.2B to $1.5B bond previously estimated that would be required to protect Queenslanders from having to foot the rehabilitation bill for the Carmichael Mine.

That detailed analysis was undertaken using publicly available documents regarding the planned rehabilitation and closure strategy proposed by Adani Mining and applying the 2017 version of the Queensland Government’s standard financial assurance calculator plus a contingency.

"The $26.4M clearly underestimates the cost of rehabilitation. According to the LDP Adani would have cleared the equivalent of 4,985 hectares and moved 372.45 million tonnes of over burden by year five of operation," said Lock the Gate Alliance rehabilitation spokesperson Rick Humphries.

“There is simply no way that amount covers the cost of rehabilitating this level of disturbance as well as all the mine infrastructure.

“What this means is that just 0.5 percent of Adani’s expected revenue will be held as financial surety for a coal mine that Adani would like to be the largest in Australia’s history.

“This is a miniscule amount, given Adani plans to leave behind massive unrehabilitated mine pits after mining, which will drain Central Queensland groundwater aquifers.

“Queenslanders should not be left to live with the huge mess Adani plans to leave behind, and certainly shouldn’t pay for it.

“These documents also show that while Adani was publicly spruiking a downsizing of the Carmichael mine to 10Mtpa in 2018, it had just sought and got approval for a Later Development Plan sticking to the original mega mine of at least 55mtpa.

“This is a stark reminder that Adani can’t be trusted - they haven’t been straight with the people of Queensland about the size of this mine and they shouldn’t be trusted with our water resources.

“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to provide full transparency about Adani’s rehabilitation requirements - including whether the company has been required to pay an upfront cash bond, or whether it has got away with a lesser form of security.

“There’s been too much secrecy around the financial risk assessments for mine rehabilitation in Queensland.

“We’re calling for the Queensland Government to provide full disclosure on the risk rating for Adani, because there’s too much at stake to have it hidden away from Queenslanders”.



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