Adani are environmental vandals

By Leith van Onselen

Back in October, a former Indian environment minister sounded the alarm on Indian mining giant Adani’s poor track record:

India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is “absolutely appalled” by the Australian Government’s approval of the Adani Group’s massive coal mine in North Queensland, which he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, “a common heritage of mankind”.

Mr Ramesh, an elder statesman of India’s opposition Congress Party, also said the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence on Adani Group’s environmental and financial conduct in India before granting environmental approvals and mining licenses.

“Adani Group’s track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired,” Mr Ramesh told Four Corners.

“And if it leaves a lot to be desired domestically, there’s no reason for me to believe that Adani would be a responsible environmental player globally”…

Mr Ramesh urged the Australian Government to do thorough financial due diligence on Adani Group, amid allegations in India of tax evasion and money laundering, as well as Adani Group’s extensive use of shell companies owned in tax havens.

Today, The ABC reports that an internal investigation by the Federal Environment Department has found Adani “may have been negligent” in failing to disclose its Australian CEO’s links to a company convicted of environmental offences in Africa:

Documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal the department considered a criminal prosecution against Adani over the omission, but decided the prospect of a conviction was limited.

The ABC revealed in 2015 Adani’s Australian CEO, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, was the director of operations at a Zambian copper mine when it discharged toxic pollutants into a major river.

The mining company, KCM, later pleaded guilty to four charges, including polluting the environment and wilfully failing to report it.

Mr Janakaraj was not charged, but the 2009 annual report of KCM’s parent company said he was “responsible for overall operations of KCM”.

After the ABC’s 2015 report, the Environment Department launched an investigation, demanding to know why Adani had not revealed Mr Janakaraj’s history with KCM during the approval process for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act, the environmental history of corporate executive officers must be disclosed to the department.

Given its atrocious track record, one wonders why the Turnbull Government remains so committed to Adani’s Carmichael mega-coal project.

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  1. Leith…when you say “Atrocious track record”, are you referring to the Turnbull gummint, the Adani crew, or both? ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Given the intense scrutiny Adani will receive when operating in Australia, I fully expect it to win every global environmental award going.

    Adani will be the posterboy for environmental excellence.

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’m not really into fish and stuff so I’m not too fussed about that reef but I am concerned that there’s at least 10,000 jobs on the line here if it doesn’t go ahead!

    • 10k potential investors. Only problem is there will be only 1.5k real jobs and that is if Adani does not decide to bring Indians on 457 for $300 per week sleeping on site.

      • the 1500 jobs were direct employees, there will be thousands more jobs if the mine goes ahead, and no 457 visa, firstly Adani have already given a commitment not to use 457 visas, secondly the mine will be under that much public scrutiny that it woudl be political suicide to allow 1 cleaner in on a 457 visa

      • @carey01
        Politicians don’t give a sht about public scrutiny. They retire with jobs working directly for those companies they sold the country to. Rob is one example.
        Once everything is in place for the project to go ahead and government spent the $1b Adani can turn around simply say numbers don;t add up anymore and for them to keep the operation running they need to replace 50% of the workers with 457s. There are many ways to skin a cat.
        I see your other comments below and you are right about BHP OK Tedi etc. Oz companies are not much better than their counterparts OS when they run operations in countries that don’t have stringent environmental laws. This has nothing to do about BHP or any other company but it concerns Adani and for that I remember watching a doco about Adani’s record in India – that tells me enough not to touch them with a stick. If they can do that to their own you think they will care about us?

      • adelaide_economist


        No, the 1,464 FTEs of jobs includes direct and indirect jobs. ‘Indirect’ means all the non-Adani jobs.

        You can google the affidavit lodged by Dr Fahrer (Adani’s own hired gun from Acil Allen Consulting) on this matter where this is clearly stated (page 15, point no. 68).

        There’s no 10,000 jobs except in the imagination of this project’s worst boosters.

  4. its odds on that any damage adani have been accused of is miniscule when compared to
    Glencore Mt isa
    Rio Gladstone
    Peabody Blackwater
    Mt Morgan
    that silver mine in texas
    Should Adani start up, they have every opportunity to call out those precedents, just for starters

    • NAh that is the safety netting, some say it is suspicious.
      Building owned by Wanda of Gold coast wanger crimped fame.
      Interesting though

  5. You are kidding me right, you want REAL environment vandals, look at BHP ever heard of OK Tedi, or the mother of environmental disaster Samarco in Brazil “Nineteen people were killed, villages were swept away, hundreds were left homeless and rivers were polluted after a waste dam burst in November 2015 at the Samarco iron ore mine, which is owned by BHP and fellow iron ore giant Vale”
    And then there is Santos’s little mud volcano disaster in Indonesia, still flowing after 10 years, Adani are saints compared to these guy’s.

    • Lihir, the tailings episode there and ongoing under the guidance/sanction of 1 ross garnaut, friend of mb.
      Lihir is not so visible as the tailings are dumped in an ocean outfall, but they still have polluted a fair bit of the bismark sea

  6. “Given its atrocious track record, one wonders why the Turnbull Government remains so committed to Adaniโ€™s Carmichael mega-coal project.” – Gee lets see could it be because it would open up the Galilee basin, the second largest undeveloped coal resource on the globe, there are 26 tenements in the Galilee, surely even you can work out that would result in Billions per year in royalties, 10s of thousands of jobs, and Billions in Company IT receipts, and considerable personal IT receipts. Yeah I wonder why they keep supporting it??

    • they support it cos their cocks are on the mining company line, and they have bills to pay
      it is only just short of blackmail. 100k for your raffle BJ
      as the BJ disgrace is highlighting, politicians are getting on toward single celled amoebas as the lowest form of life

    • “Gee lets see could it be because it would open up the Galilee basin, the second largest undeveloped coal resource on the globe”

      That would be a great argument in 1850, or even 1950. But this is 2018 and there will be no one to buy that coal. So there won’t be billions of dollars in revenue! Just a billion dollars in dumb loans that won’t get paid back. Coal is a stranded asset.

      • Do you often comment on issues you obviously have little or no knowledge of??
        Given the vast majority of the coal is going to India to replace lesser quality coal currently being sourced from SA and Indonesia under the Port to Point model, it does not matter what the price of coal is,. And if you were correct why are the Koreans building Bylong in the Hunter valley,? And why is the port of Newcastle planning to build another coal terminal

  7. Trying to keep calm today, meditating, thinking of beautiful things.


    Adani shamani.