Debt, not coal, delivers $388m profit to Adani

Controversial coal miner Adani Mining has posted a full-year profit of $388.4 million in Australia without selling as much as a bucket of coal, courtesy of a stronger Australian dollar against the US greenback.

In its financial accounts lodged with the corporate regulator, Adani Mining said it generated revenue of just $8 million – most of it from bank interest – but avoided a loss due to a $425 million one-off foreign exchange gain for the financial year ending March 31, 2021.

The company reported a loss of $283 million in 2020.

Adani expects to start shipping coal from its Carmichael mine within the year. Credit:Cameron Laird

The windfall was generated by favourable currency movements on $2 billion worth of loans received from its Indian parent company, the Adani Group, which is funding the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland and the building of related infrastructure, including the railroad needed to ship the coal to port.

Adani’s Australian operations have been forced to resort to a debt-heavy structure after failing to attract local financing for the Carmichael mine.

“The foreign currency gain resulted on account of the translation of foreign currency-denominated transactions (primarily, US dollar denominated borrowings) into Australian dollars,” the company said in response to queries about its results.

The Adani subsidiary is reliant on its parent group’s financial support to remain viable. According to its accounts, loans due to be paid within 12 months exceeded short term funds by $2.28 billion. This is all payable to its Indian parent company which has agreed to not call for repayment.

The Carmichael project has faced significant opposition over coal’s significant contribution to global warming, the mine’s potential environmental damage and concerns it will spur more fossil-fuel mining in the Galilee Basin.

Adani Mining, which trades in Australia under the name Bravus Mining and Resources, received final approval for the project in 2019 and reached a significant milestone in June when it struck coal at the mine site.


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