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Mining boss resigns after $21B coal project shrinks

Lucas Dow Adani Australia
Lucas Dow Adani Australia

A multi-dimensional resources company will lose a key leader after its $21 billion coal development was downsized partly due to anti-mining activism.

Adani Australia has confirmed Lucas Dow is resigning as the company’s chief executive after only being in the role since April 2018. He will stay on as a director on the Adani board and be replaced by David Boshoff, who has been promoted from project director to the top job.

Reduced capacity

The proponent did not provide a reason for the sudden change of management but the Australian Associated Press revealed the decision came as the Carmichael Coal Project was downsized from a 60 million tonne per annum (tpa) mine, which costs $16.5B, to just a 10 million to 15M tpa mine with a much smaller price tag of $2B.

Dow previously promised the 10M tpa mine has the potential to expand its capacity by up to six times. However, the newswire service understands there are no solid plans to actually follow through with it.

The project has also faced activist pressure from Stop Adani, the Galilee Blockade and Australian Conservation Foundation, which repeatedly emailed, phoned, posted to social media, and protested against companies that won contracts from Adani.

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More than a year has passed since Adani started building the mine, which is one milestone the outgoing CEO is pleased to reflect on.

“In just over a year we have awarded more than $1B worth of contracts and we remain on track to create more than 1500 direct jobs during the construction and ramp up of our project and some further 6750 indirect jobs,” he said in a public statement.

“Construction is continuing with strict measures in place to manage the risk of the COVID-19 virus and to keep our workforce and the community safe.”

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