The Australian government has reissued an environmental permit for construction of one of the world’s biggest coal mines to Adani Enterprises, after clearing concerns about two rare outback species. The decision by Environment Minister Greg Hunt removes one hurdle for Adani to proceed with the stalled A$10 billion ($7 billion) project in the undeveloped Galilee Basin that could generate billions of dollars in export revenue for Australia.
The company has battled opposition from green groups since starting work on the project five years ago. A court in August temporarily blocked progress on the mine following a claim Adani failed to take into account the welfare of the yakka skink and ornamental snake.
Several international banks have said they will not provide financing for coal mining in the Galilee Basin, while Standard Chartered and Commonwealth Bank of Australia pulled out of the project in August. While a push in India to rely more on solar and wind power and domestic coal has raised questions over the viability of the project.
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