Melbourne:  Adani Enterprises expects the work on its AUD 16.5 billion (USD 15.5 billion) coal and rail project in Queensland to kick off next year, and plans to start coal exports to India from 2017.

The company is waiting for the final environmental approval from Australia’s federal government.

Last week, Mumbai-listed Adani Enterprises won Queensland government’s approval for Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project north west of Clermont, based in the Galilee Basin in the central region of the state.

“We are expecting to start the work next year, and coal exports to India would begin in 2017,” Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj told PTI.

The project will produce up to 60 million tonnes of coal each year and include a 189-km rail line.

Janakaraj said the project is very important considering India’s need for coal, and also for strengthening the relations between the two nations.

The project is expected to create around 6,000 jobs in the state.

Apart from the federal government’s approval, the company will have to obtain a mining lease, water licence and go-ahead from the environmental authority.

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