Adani Australia's CEO and Head of Country Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Adani Australia's CEO and Head of Country Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Adani sticking to its 2020 vision

ADANI'S plans to ship its first coal by 2020 were still on target, the company said yesterday.

It rejected reports that its inability to access funds to develop the Carmichael mine had forced a change in its timetable.

However business media company Bloomberg was reporting confidential sources inside the company were saying development and shipping had been pushed back a year.

It comes as the Federal Government's new mining task force prepares to target activists and their strategy of holding up mining projects.

The multibillion-dollar Carmichael mine was first proposed in 2010, but faced two years of delay because of legal challenges from environmental groups.

After missing its financial close deadline at the end of last year, Adani is now looking at funding the development through either internal sources or by selling stakes in the project, according to Bloomberg.

Adani recently won a major deal to supply electricity to Bangladesh, and maintains there is a hungry market for energy in India that cannot be met by renewables.

Adani needs an extra $3 billion for the project after already investing a similar amount, but it has so far been stonewalled by lenders after a powerful campaign against the project by environmental activists.

The options to fund it internally or through equity sales have been among its options for several years.

Industry sources remain confident Adani will be able to find the funding for the project because of the strong political support the company has in India.

The mining taskforce was established this week with the goal of securing the competitiveness of Australia's resources sector, but Resources Minister Matt Canavan admitted activists would also be investigated.

"This taskforce is unashamedly focused on ensuring the long-term future of the resources sector and the jobs it supports,'' Senator Canavan said.

"The taskforce will consult widely, and one of its key focus areas will be regional development.

"I anticipate it will want to tackle the issue of activist opportunism that tries to hold up approved projects and prevent people in regional Australia getting a job.

"The Government remains concerned about delays in approval processes, and we intend to progress reforms that can reduce delays and create more jobs."

Senator Canavan also said this week that Australians were rightly concerned about the meddling in Western democracies by states such as China and Russia, and they should also be concerned about foreign funds propping up domestic activist groups.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said given the taskforce consisted mainly of mining executives, it appeared the Federal Government was using public funds on a public-relations campaign for big polluting companies.

"It's deeply disappointing to see the Turnbull Government continue its attacks on environment charities which speak up for a fair transition away from polluting coal and gas," she said. "Silencing those you disagree with is far from the 'fair go' attitude we have here in Australia.

"The Turnbull Government's 'let 'em rip' attitude to coal and gas poses a grave risk to the future of all Australians, and the places and wildlife we love."

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