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Adani Australia Smart Mining Networking Event Write-Up

Austmine welcomed over 250 members and guests to our Smart Mining Networking event last Thursday in Brisbane, featuring Jeyakumar Janakaraj, CEO & Country Head – Australia at Adani. Following final investment approval being granted by the board of Adani earlier in the week, attendees were excited to find out more about the future of the project and build their relationship with the Adani Australia delegates who were present.

JJ began his presentation by communicating the reasons why Adani has stayed the course with the Carmichael project. He stated: “There is a bigger purpose behind this project, this drives the passion for us in this project,” linking this to the need for Adani, the largest energy company in India, to improve the living standards of India’s citizens.   

Coal use in India currently makes up 60% of the energy mix. By 2040, this will be 41%. Coal will account for 438GW of power generation by 2040, an increase of 151% from 2014 in India. 100GW will come from solar and renewables, a considerable growth rate, but this still leaves a large gap for coal to account for.

JJ noted the obstacles and challenges accounted by Adani in their Australian journey, providing the message: “Fighting for this project was similar to growing up in India – you have to fight to advance. This is in-built in our DNA and helps us stay the course.”

Specifically, JJ addressed the ongoing battle with activists over the Carmichael coal project, which has been one of the most controversial new mines in recent history. However, he saw this as an industry challenge, rather than just an issue for Adani and asked the audience and the wider mining community to be vocal about this project and others that are being blocked or delayed by protestors around the country. 

JJ addressed the immediate road ahead for the Carmichael mine and North Galilee Basin rail project, which has now been in the pipeline for 7 years since the first approvals. The first phase will be a 25 million tonne open-pit coal mine with a wash plant, with Adani aiming to produce the first coal in 2020.

Construction for the rail line will begin from July onwards, with 100 workers employed to do geotechnical work on it in the next 6 months. It will be a greenfield multi-user rail line that will be 388Km in length and may go up to 100Mtpa capacity. There is already $2million in contracts for the rail project with Northern and Central Queensland companies.

JJ spoke about the long-term vision for Adani in Australia, with plans for the Carmichael coal mine to be just 20% of their business here by 2025. Other areas they are seeking to target in Australia includes infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy.

In addressing supplier opportunities, JJ acknowledged that a portal for local suppliers will be online within the next couple of weeks. However, he strongly advocated for creating a personal relationship with Adani, saying that: “Nothing is beyond a relationship.”

JJ finished his presentation with a brief statement about the benefits of the project: “There is a sentiment of fear created by activists – but let’s talk about hope.” This includes hope for the people of Northern Queensland who will benefit from increased employment and economic activity in the region, and the people of India who will be able to access cheaper, more reliable energy. 

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