An ABC report has cited an unnamed Adani Mining director as saying the company is close to securing a deal with Chinese enterprises and export credit agencies to fund both the mine and the rail link.
The director reportedly said Adani now wouldn’t need a loan of up to $1 billion from the federal Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for the rail line.
But Adani spokesman Ron Watson says the report is wrong.
“Adani has held productive meetings with a wide range of financiers for the Carmichael mine and associated infrastructure,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“However, this does not negate the need for support from the Federal and State governments including a NAIF loan, every cent of which will be repaid by Adani with interest.”
A formal announcement about the financing deal is said to be imminent, but the ABC reports that reliance on funds from Chinese enterprises and export credit agencies could cost Australia jobs associated with the project.
Such Chinese interests invariably require that materials for key infrastructure are sourced from China and that effective shifts work out of Australia.
The Adani project has dominated the four-week Queensland election campaign. Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed to veto any taxpayer-funded loan to the Indian miner, saying Adani’s project must stack up without taxpayer support.
But LNP leader Tim Nicholls supports the loan — and that’s a deal breaker for One Nation should the right-wing party end up with the balance of power after Saturday’s election.
“Would rejecting a taxpayer loan to Adani be a condition of your support to form government?” 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones asked One Nation’s Queensland leader Steve Dickson on Tuesday.
“Absolutely. Absolutely 100 per cent. We want that money spent for the sake of Queenslanders and Australians alone and nobody else, ever.”
But reports that Adani has independently financed the rail link could make One Nation’s position irrelevant.
The premier on Tuesday said Adani should get on with building the mine and stop waiting around for federal help.
“They have the green light to go ahead, they have always said it can independently stack up, so they should get on ahead and deal with it,” Ms Palaszczuk told the The Australian Financial Review.
“We are a resource-rich state. They can just get on with it and do it. There’s other companies that are doing it.”