Indian mining giant Adani on Thursday dismissed the refusal by France’s three biggest banks to fund the group’s multi-billon-dollar coal mine projects in the Australian state of Queensland.
Despite being significant lenders in Australian coal developments in the past, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole all ruled out financing the controversial Galilee basin coal projects.
BNP Paribas’s stance extended to the rail and port developments on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
A spokesperson for Adani, which is running one of the projects worth $12.7 billion as well as a major port expansion on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, said it had not formally requested funds from any of the French banks.
"An institution ruling out something it was not requested to do has no bearing on this company," Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesman as saying on Thursday.
"Adani’s projects in Queensland comply with the strictest environmental conditions in the world’s best practice environmental approvals framework.
"The company continues to progress the financial arrangements for its projects in Australia," the spokesman said.
Abbot Point, the most northerly deep-water coal port in Australia, requires a significant expansion to cope with coal sourced in the Galilee basin.
Its proximity to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef means the port and mine developments have faced massive campaigns from conservationists from around the world.
In its letter to the French chapter of conservation group Friends of the Earth, Credit Agricole said it had ruled out financing the projects "due to the number and magnitude of issues linked to the planned coal development projects in the Galilee Basin".
"Credit Agricole SA does not intend to finance these projects or their associated facilities," the letter said.
The trio’s move brings the number of international banks refusing involvement in the projects to 11, including HSBC and Barclays.