Stop Adani protesters have marched on Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch's electoral office dressed as zombies.  Picture: Brendan Radke
Stop Adani protesters have marched on Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch's electoral office dressed as zombies. Picture: Brendan Radke

Adani move shrugs off zombie apocalypse

ADANI is expected to hit the green light on its controversial Carmichael coalmine within months, after the company radically redrafted its production timetable.

News Queensland can reveal Adani will today announce a staged ramp-up to its planned 27 million tonne annual production target, rather than attempt to hit this rate from the outset.

The shift, in concert with a new plan to utilise Aurizon's existing narrow-gauge rail network, will cut Adani's upfront capital costs by up to 60 per cent, and simplify its search for finance.

Industry experts yesterday suggested the company may now need to raise just $2 billion to proceed with the mine.

It comes after activists yesterday dressed up as zombies and staged occupations in Brisbane, Cairns and other locations to highlight the "apocalyptic" influence of the Carmichael mine on global climate.

Adani mining chief Lucas Dow insisted the ramp-up production model would allow the mine to begin sooner, although he stopped short of naming a planned launch date.

An anti-Adani protester is arrested for allegedly trespassing in Cairns yesterday. Picture: Brendan Radke
An anti-Adani protester is arrested for allegedly trespassing in Cairns yesterday. Picture: Brendan Radke

Mr Dow said the Carmichael mine would be increased in two or three "bite-sized chunks" over time with market conditions and financing to influence future staging.

"It will very much depend on what those market conditions are," he said.

"With this decision to break up the ramp up that has simplified the finance and that (opening) date is not too far away from us."

Adani's plans have been significantly scaled back from the days it was touted as a $16.5 billion mega-mine that would produce 60 million tonnes annually.

A recent report found that while Australian coal remained high quality and relatively inexpensive to import compared to competitors, production had flatlined since 2014 while global demand had increased.

Mr Dow said the growth trajectory of thermal coal debunked claims that the Carmichael mine would cannibalise Queensland's existing resources industry and be of no net benefit for the state.

He said India imported 137 million tonnes of coal last year and only three million of that came from Australia.

"The rest of Australian mines are really flat stick," he said.

"What we are looking to do is enter the growth markets of India and South-East Asia."