Adani chief executive Lucas Dow.
Adani chief executive Lucas Dow.

Adani move that could cost us billions

ADANI could take legal action if a proposed law to ban coal mining in the Galilee Basin goes ahead, to claw back the $1.4 billion it has already invested in the project.

But a senior Mines Department official said Adani and other companies granted a mining lease in the basin might not be entitled to compensation if the Greens-backed Bill was passed.

As the political war heats up over the mega-mine, a parliamentary hearing yesterday into the proposed Bill heard previous Labor governments had made laws that stripped three mining companies of their licences, with compensation paid only once.

Adani chief executive Lucas Dow said Adani had invested $1.4 billion on its proposed Carmichael coal mine and rail project in the area and would take legal action if mining was banned.

"Suffice to say that if this legislation somehow found its way to be enacted, clearly there would be a legal recourse to not only costs incurred, but also for the future profits as well," he said

"So that would be a sizeable compensation."

Mr Dow also flagged the company was projected to pay billions of dollars to the state in mining royalties that would be lost if mining was banned.

"It's commercial in confidence, but what I can say is that over the course of the project (royalties) will run into the billions," he said.


The Government has not included future coal royalties from Galilee Basin projects in budget forward estimates.

LNP committee member Brent Mickelberg told The Courier-Mail the Bill would "set a pretty dangerous precedent for property rights".

"It drives a sledge hammer through Queensland's reputation internationally in terms of trying to attract international investors," he said.

Queensland Law Society mining and resources committee chairman James Plumb said he was "fearful" the property rights of companies were not protected in the Bill.

Mines Department acting executive director for mines and energy resources policy Claire Cooper said fundamental legal principles that protected property rights were not "mandatory".

Greens MP Michael Berkman, who introduced the Bill last year, said companies would not receive compensation if it passed.

"If we're legislating in a way that says these leases will be revoked and no further leases will be issued, and the Bill says there won't be compensation for that, than that's the lawful proposition that I'm putting to this committee and the Parliament," Mr Berkman said.

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