Fact sheet

Fact Check: Joel Fitzgibbon says the Queensland Government recently approved a mine as big as Adani's Carmichael mine. Is he correct?

Australian Labor Party Mining Queensland

Labor's resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon claims that a coal mine the same size as Adani's was approved by the Queensland Government during the 2019 federal election campaign, yet it "hardly got noticed." Is that correct? Mr Fitzgibbon's claim doesn't stack up. The mine he referred to ' Olive Downs, near Moranbah, south-west of Mackay ' plans to produce up to 4.5 million tonnes of coal per year in its first stage, eventually ramping up to 15 million tonnes. Further to the west, Adani's Carmichael mine expects to initially produce 10 million tonnes per year, but the company has suggested this could later triple to 27.5 million tonnes. While Olive Downs has sought approval for a maximum output of 15 million tonnes, Adani has obtained and sought environmental approvals based on an annual output of 60 million tonnes. However, Adani has since announced it would scale back its plans, meaning figures are not publicly available to allow for precise comparisons between the Carmichael and Olive Downs mines. Mr Fitzgibbon also said Olive Downs had been approved by the State Government. Certainly, it has cleared a major hurdle in the environmental approvals process, but experts cautioned that a mine could not be considered "approved" until the company obtains a mining licence.
Verdict: Doesn't stack up

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