Chinese money will not fund 'dirty' Adani mine

The controversial Adani coal mine project in Queensland will not be funded by Chinese banks, the Chinese embassy has confirmed, with former foreign minister Bob Carr and prominent opponent of the mine Geoff Cousins claiming partial credit.

Chinese company China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) had been in discussions with Adani about financing the project in a $1 billion deal.

But Mr Carr, director of the Australia China Relations Institute, on Tuesday claimed credit for scuttling the Chinese finance deal after a three-week campaign against the "dirty coal mine", during which he told Chinese government and finance sector figures the project was unpopular among the Australian people.

Mr Carr and Mr Cousins were both told by the Chinese embassy on Tuesday that China would not fund Adani.

Mr Carr said he had been told that "the relevant company will discontinue discussions with Adani over possible co-operation. No Chinese financial institution will involve itself."

The Bank of China's Sydney branch, in an unusual move, issued a statement saying it did not intend to provide financing for the Adani Carmichael project.

Over the weekend, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) distanced itself from the project, and the China Construction Bank had already ruled out supporting the mine.

Mr Cousins said: "Adani's polluting coal mine has been rejected by the Australian community. It has been rejected by the banks. And in a show of leadership it has been sensibly rejected by China."

The Australian Conservation Foundation said Mr Cousins was told by the embassy the mine was judged to be not commercially viable.

Mr Carr said: "I was delighted to be enlisted by Geoff Cousins. It is rare in the world that you have an effect which is so decisive."

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo and Barnaby Joyce had earlier this year written to China's top economic regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission, in support of Chinese funding for the Adani project, saying it had received all government approvals.

The Adani coal mine has already been rejected by the four major Australian banks, and the Labor government in Queensland says it will block funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

Adani has previously said it would secure funding in China. It hopes to start shipping coal from Carmichael under the first stage of the project by March 2020.

The story Chinese money will not fund 'dirty' Adani mine first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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