Government grants licence to critical Adani rail link

ADANI is on track to be granted approval to build the 200km rail line it needs to service the Carmichael mine.

The State Government's Co-ordinator General yesterday approved the mining giant's "Deed of Access and Sublease", which Adani needs to build its rail link. Work can begin once documents have been signed.

The company had previously planned to build a 388km standard gauge railway between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Port but last year announced it would instead leverage existing rail infrastructure and build a narrow gauge line that will be about 200km.

The existing rail infrastructure into the Galilee Basin is owned by Aurizon.

A spokesman for Aurizon said the company had a "legal requirement" to consider all access and connection requests and to initiate a process to assess these requests, and that all access requests discussions had to be kept confidential.

"We are progressing with our connection to the existing rail network as per standard regulatory processes that are in place to facilitate rail connections," an Adani spokeswoman said.

The license to build the rail line was one of three approvals Adani was scheduled to receive on July 31.

The State Government's Department of Natural Resources and Mines was meant to make a decision on Adani's lease on land for a workers camp and airport at Moray Downs.

However both the company and the department have agreed to push this back to August 31, which an Adani spokeswoman said "is in keeping with the construction schedule".

Adani was also yet to receive accreditation from the Federal Office of the National Rail safety Regulator.

"Engagement with Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator also continues to progress and activities are being advanced in accordance with project requirements and our construction schedule," a spokeswoman said.

"We are continuing to work constructively with the Queensland Government on the delivery of relevant approval requirements as our project continues with its construction phase."

The royalties agreement between Adani and the State Government is expected to be finalised on September 30.

The Townsville Bulletin previously reported that long-term unemployed people in the region could soon be working on the Adani rail line.

Under a State Government-funded program, Energy Skills Queensland and CERT Training are providing Certificate II courses in rail infrastructure at the Townsville Business Development Centre.

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