A Stop Adani protester is removed from the stage during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech at the Valley Chamber of Commerce business luncheon in Brisbane earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
A Stop Adani protester is removed from the stage during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech at the Valley Chamber of Commerce business luncheon in Brisbane earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

The dummies’ guide to the Adani debate

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ANTI and pro coal activists clashed as they met in Clermont yesterday, expressing their views on whether the controversial Carmichael coal project should or shouldn't go ahead.

Have you heard your mates banging on about Adani passionately, but always kept your mouth shut because you're not sure what it's all about?

Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know so you don't put your foot in your mouth at the next dinner table debate.

SO, WHAT ACTUALLY IS ADANI?

Adani is the company of Indian billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani.

It is a multinational super company with its fingers in mining, ports, shipping, rail, power generation and transmissions and more.

But Adani Australia is the offshoot of interest.

It owns the Carmichael coal project in the Galilee basin in central Queensland, about nine hours' drive southwest of Mackay.

Construction equipment arrives at the Adani Carmichael coal project in the Galilee basin in central Queensland.
Construction equipment arrives at the Adani Carmichael coal project in the Galilee basin in central Queensland.

It's primarily a thermal coal mine, with the rock expected to be exported to India for use by Adani's power generation.

The mine, in its current proposed form, is expected to cost more than $2.5 billion.

It was once going to be the biggest coal mine in Australia, but has downsized its plans.

It is expected to produce 27.5 million tonnes of coal a year initially, but could be ramped up if future stages are approved.

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HATE IT?

Because it is a coal mine is the simple answer.

Climate change is a major issue facing the world and the vast majority of the scientific community is pointing its finger squarely at carbon emissions.

Adani was going to be Australia's biggest new coal mine at one point, which put it in environmentalists crosshairs and since it has become a symbol and rallying point for the anti-coal cause.

A Stop Adani protester is removed from the stage during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech at the Valley Chamber of Commerce business luncheon in Brisbane earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
A Stop Adani protester is removed from the stage during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech at the Valley Chamber of Commerce business luncheon in Brisbane earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

Adani itself has had a few issues involving minor spills at its Abbott Point coal terminal.

The Carmichael mine has the capacity to process 10 million tonnes of coal a year, producing 240,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Adani says this is a fraction of the 95.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions produced in Queensland each year.

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE LOVE IT?

It will be a major employer should it get off the ground.

Coal mining means jobs in parts of regional Queensland.

Not only direct jobs, but this flows on to indirect jobs and more money flowing through communities as cashed up workers spend their pay check.

There are also hopes property prices could improve in places like Rockhampton, Townsville and Gladstone as FIFO workers move back in after the mining downturn.

Australia exported 208 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2018 worth $26 billion the second largest exporter of coal in the world behind Indonesia.

China, the EU and India are our biggest buyers.

HOW MANY JOBS WILL IT ACTUALLY GENERATE?

According to the latest figures with the Department of Industry, the number of direct jobs once the mine is operational has been revised down from 3800 in operation to 1500.

It has also been estimated it will create 1075 during its construction phase.

Adani Australia's Jacine Reading and Brenton Watts at the Carmichael mine. Picture: Cameron Laird
Adani Australia's Jacine Reading and Brenton Watts at the Carmichael mine. Picture: Cameron Laird

About 800 people are currently employed or contracted by the mining giant, which has its Australian headquarters in Townsville.

MORE: 'IF YOU SHUT DOWN THE MINING INDUSTRY YOU SHUT DOWN JOBS'

WHY IS IT THE FOCUS OF THE DEBATE OVER COAL?

There are eight coal mines proposed in Australia that are as big or bigger than the Adani mine in value, with about 60 listed as major projects with the Department of Industry.

There are 125 coal mines in Australia already active.

Partially it has become the focus of the debate because it is a symbol and easily recognisable name after years of protests.

Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane in September 13, 2018. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane in September 13, 2018. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

But more so because there are five other mining tenements in the Galilee Basin which are likely waiting for Adani to go ahead before being snapped up.

These include GVK/Hancock's Alpha coal project, expected to cost more than $10 billion, which has a larger capacity than Adani.