Explaining Adani: why would a billionaire persist with a mine that will probably lose money?

3 June 2019

By mid-June, if everything goes as expected, Adani Australia will receive the final environmental approvals for its proposed Carmichael coal mine and rail line development. John Quiggin writes about the future obstacles and economics of the project for The Conversation.

Newspaper reports based on briefings from Adani suggest that, once the approvals are in place, the company could begin digging “within days”. On Friday the Queensland government approved Adani’s plan to protect a rare bird, apparently leaving it with just final regulatory hurdle: approval for its plan to manage groundwater. Its billboards in Brisbane read: “We can start tomorrow if we get the nod today”. But several big obstacles remain. Even after governments are out of the way, it will have to deal with markets and companies that aren’t keen on the project.