With the final approval of the Adani Carmichael coal mine now apparently imminent, it is important to ask how it has seemingly defied the assessment of experts that it is not financially viable.
After all, it’s only a week since the Chinese owner of another mine planned for the Galilee Basin, the China Stone mine, suspended its bid for mining leases because of commercial considerations.
The numbers appear not to add up because the location is remote, the coal would be expensive to transport, and the price is expected to fall. But such a purely financial analysis ignores the political forces driving the development of the coal industry in both India and Australia.
Mates in India, mates in Australia
In short, both are locked into what I describe as a model of crony capitalism, in which special deals are handed out to projects such as Adani that tip the scales in favour of development.
The actions of China and Japan in deploying enormous state power to export their respective coal technologies to Southeast Asia strengthens the hands of those pushing such developments.
For the rest of this article: https://theconversation.com/if-the-adani-mine-gets-built-it-will-be-thanks-to-politicians-on-two-continents-118043