LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 17 (Reuters) – Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael coal mine in Australia is assuming mythical status way out of proportion to its actual significance, even before meaningful construction starts on the controversial project.
For its opponents, the mine should never be built because it is not supported by a majority of Australians and aims to send coal to India, a country that says it doesn’t want or need imports of the fuel.
For its backers, the project is proof that coal remains a viable global industry and the opening of a new basin in central Queensland state will provide jobs in a region that needs them and royalty revenue to a grateful government.
To many who look at Carmichael dispassionately, it’s hard to fathom how such a remote mine that will produce relatively low value coal can make economic sense in an environment where coal demand is likely to fall in the coming decades as the world turns away from high-emission fossil fuels.
The controversial mine in Queensland state has become a touchstone for those on both the left and right of the political spectrum, with representatives of both groups tending to lose perspective on the project in pursuit of wider ambitions.