Australia’s controversial new Adani coal mine has claimed victory over environmental activists, while announcing on Friday that the project had brought more than 1,500 jobs to the state of Queensland during its construction.
After a nearly decade-long battle between the Indian-owned company and those determined to put a stop to it, Adani Mining Chief Executive David Boshoff said the coal mine would go ahead whether they like it or not, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The ‘Stop Adani’ movement said our project would never go ahead and would never create a single job. We have proved our opponents wrong,” Boshoff said.
While construction is still underway on the project which includes a purpose built rail line, dam and airfield, Boshoff said the temporary jobs involved were vital to sustaining the economy through Covid-19.
“Mining has cushioned the Queensland and Western Australian economies from the worst of the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns and we are proud to be a part of that,” he said.
The Stop Adani movement became a household name both in Australia and abroad, due to the mine’s planning and construction taking place against a backdrop of rising climate change concern.
Additionally the project’s proximity to Australia’s treasured Great Barrier Reef means it will drive an increase in shipping traffic through the already sensitive area.
According to the activist group, coal extracted by the mine, most of which will go to India, will contribute 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution to the atmosphere.
“We are looking forward to the day next year when we can celebrate our success with our Queensland partners and employees, while watching the first shipment of coal being exported. Until then, it remains full speed ahead on construction,” Boshoff said.