Adani halts engineering work on Aus coal mine project: report (The Hindu – June 24, 2015)

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Adani Group has halted engineering work related to Australia’s largest proposed mine, raising speculation that it could abandon the contentious $16.5 billion project altogether

India’s mining giant Adani Group has halted engineering work related to Australia’s largest proposed mine, raising speculation that it could abandon the contentious $16.5 billion project altogether.

Adani last week advised four major engineering contractors to stop work on projects around the Carmichael mine in Queensland including a joint venture rail line and the expansion of Abbot Point port, Guardian Australia reported citing industry sources.

The report quoted sources as saying that the move to suspend preparatory work by WorleyParsons and Aecon, Aurecon and SMEC at this stage of a project was unheard of and made no sense as a savings measure even amid delays.

“It’s Adani’s practice not to comment on specific commercial arrangements,” a spokeswoman for Adani was quoted as saying by the daily.

The report follows setbacks that have pushed back what would be Australia’s largest coal project, including the forced scrapping of plans to dump dredge spoil from the port in Great Barrier Reef waters and then the Caley Valley.

Adani is also facing legal challenges from indigenous landholders and conservation groups, one of which is likely to push state government decisions on mining lease and environmental approvals back until the end of the year at least.

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