A Chinese company has suspended its bid for mining leases to develop a large coal mine next door to Adani’s in Queensland.
The China Stone project promised to create thousands of jobs but the state government says the company has “voluntarily not progressed” with its mining lease applications.
“MacMines has voluntarily not progressed their five mining lease applications for the China Stone project,” the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy has told the ABC.
“The schedule associated with progressing a mining lease application are subject to the proponent’s commercial decisions.”
The China Stone project is owned by MacMines Austasia, a subsidiary of China’s Meijin Energy Group.
MacMines chief executive Russell Phillips told the ABC the project’s future was under discussion and he wasn’t in a position to elaborate.
But he also said it was “definitely not being shelved”.
The proposed China Stone mine site is the closest to Adani’s planned mine in the coal-rich Galilee basin.
Adani has repeatedly accused the state Labor government of changing the goal posts for its mine.
Regional voters turned against Labor at last weekend’s federal election, at least in part because of drawn out delays plaguing Adani’s mine and the jobs it promises.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has spent the past year saying outstanding approvals Adani needs will not be rushed, and that the mine must stack up economically and environmentally.
On Wednesday, days after Labor’s drubbing in Queensland, she said she was “fed up” waiting for departmental decisions on approvals Adani needs.
She said the community was frustrated too and she ordered Queensland’s Coordinator-General to oversee approvals for the mine.
Adani, the Department of Environment and Science, and the coordinator-general are due to meet on Thursday to nut out a deadline for decisions on the outstanding approvals.
MacMines still holds an exploration permit and it can opt to reapply for mining leases in the future.