An aboriginal group in central Queensland is attempting to prevent Australia’s largest mine from being built on its ancestral land. Representatives for the Wangan and Jagalingou people have formally rejected an Indigenous land use agreement which would allow the huge $16 billion Carmichael min in the coal-rich region.

Coal mine

Adrian Burragubba has written to the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to uphold what he sees as the clan’s title rights and warns that the mine would “tear the heart out of our country.” Indian coal giant Adani’s Carmichael mine in the state’s Galilee basin will be linked to the Abbot Point coal terminal by a 300km rail line approved by the state government last year. If all goes ahead, about 100 million tons of coal will pass along the railway every year.

“We will take no ‘shut up’ money,” Burragubba said. “We will protect and defend our country and our connection to our lands.” The project also faces a legal challenge in Queensland’s environment court next week. “If claimant groups cannot resolve the issues, the federal court of Australia will test the matters through a trial process,” a spokesperson said.

The Carmichael mine would be one of the largest in the world and cover over 200 square km, extracting 297 billion liters of water from local aquifers. There are many ramifications for climate change and a huge impact on the local environment form the implementation and running of this mine. The environmental impact statement coming from Adani themselves says the project will release more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide over its 60-year life.