India’s Outback Coal Bets Sour as Global Prices Recover – by Ben Sharples and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – March 1, 2018)

(Bloomberg) — Australian mining legend Lang Hancock’s dream four decades ago of exporting coal from the country’s remote Galilee Basin is becoming a nightmare for two Indian conglomerates.

Adani Group bought into the Queensland basin in 2010, followed a year later by GVK Group, with plans to ship thermal coal by the middle of the decade. Deals to build ports and rails signaled early promise, but the projects became embroiled in legal challenges and financing setbacks.

Adani now sees first exports from its massive Carmichael mine around 2020, six years behind schedule, as it struggles to shore up financing, with the federal government making clear Wednesday it won’t help with investments or loans.

“There are regulatory and environmental infrastructure requirements, which have thrown up significant hurdles,” said Daniel Hynes, a Sydney-based analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

“There’s still a chance we won’t see Galilee supply in the market in the foreseeable future. It’s nothing to do with the quality of the coal. It’s more around the infrastructure, which has been quite difficult to overcome.”

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