Coal from a controversial Queensland mine is on track to be exported later this year after workers struck the first major seam, but environmentalists say the news is nothing to celebrate.
Bravus, formally known as Adani Australia, celebrated striking coal and exposing the first of the seams at its Carmichael mine on Thursday, with CEO David Boschoff sharing a photo of himself clutching a lump of coal and a pick.
“Throughout the last two years of construction and during the many years when we fought to secure our approvals … it is wonderful that we have now struck coal,” he said in a statement.
“We’re on track to export first coal this year, and despite reaching this significant milestone, we will not take our eyes off our larger goal of getting coal to market.”
Construction at the sitefrom the federal and state governments.
The Carmichael mine will initially export coal to India, where the Adani Group is based.
Mr Boshoff said Bravus has done deals to offload the 10 million tonnes the mine will produce each year.
Chairman of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani, tweeted on Thursday that he was proud of his team.
The construction of the mine has followed a decade-long campaign by environmentalists against the project, which is located in the Galilee Basin more than 400km inland from Mackay.
On Thursday David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia, said any celebration was “perverse”.
“This is coal that must remain in the ground if we are to put the world on a trajectory towards avoiding the worst of climate damage,” he told SBS News.
“It is entirely perverse to imagine that this is a moment for celebration.”
Greens leader Adam Bandt said while Thursday’s developments “may be some relief for a fossil fuel billionaire, this is not a good day for the world’s climate”.
“Despite the name change, Adani’s Carmichael mine remains a massive climate bomb that will ruin Australia’s chance of keeping global warming to below 1.5 degrees of warming,” Mr Bandt told SBS News.
Traditional Owners of the area also fought hard to stop the project going ahead, with Wangan and Jagalingou man Adrian Burragubba going bankrupt in 2018 after repeated failed court actions to stop the project.
“We’ve been ignored, as the original Wangan and Jagalingou people, we’ve been ignored through this whole process,” Mr Burragubba said in August 2020.