March 15, 2016 / 9:13 PM / 4 years ago

RPT-India's Adani gets Queensland backing for Australian coal project

(Repeats story published late Tuesday; no changes to text)

SYDNEY, March 15 (Reuters) - Parliament in the Australian state of Queensland agreed on Tuesday that India’s Adani Enterprises Ltd should be granted “all state government approvals” to build one of the world’s biggest coal mines, state mining minister Anthony Lynham said.

The A$10 billion ($7.45 billion) project in the undeveloped Galilee Basin has been delayed by challenges from environmental campaigners, but a Queensland court last December rejected a bid to stop it.

Environmentalists are still fighting it on numerous fronts and lobbying banks not to provide loans. They cite potential damage from port dredging, shipping and climate change stoked by coal from the mine.

Lynham said the development could create thousands of jobs. Adani has estimated it will generate A$22 billion in state taxes and royalties.

The minister told parliament that the projects’ mining leases would only be approved when compensation agreements were reached. In a press statement, he did not elaborate on this.

The statement said the Queensland government would also stick to an election pledge that dredging for the Abbot Point coal terminal should not proceed until the Indian conglomerate demonstrated it had the necessary funding in place for the entire mine, rail and road project.

Analysts say even with approvals in hand, Adani will find it tough to raise financing for the project amid the prolonged downturn in the coal market.

An Adani spokesman was not immediately available for comment outside normal working hours. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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