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Cutifani opposes government loan for Adani's Carmichael mine

Anglo American Plc CEO Mark Cutifani opposed the idea of government funding to develop infrastructure for Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael coal project in Queensland, Australia, unless its competitors are also given the same, The Australian wrote Oct. 4.

The Indian company has been seeking a A$900 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the rail line servicing Carmichael.

In late August, Adani unveiled a plan to start work on the first phase of the Carmichael mine using A$400 million of its own funds.

Cutifani said the company should handle the project on its own, adding "it will be interesting to see how it's developed and what support the government provides."

The Anglo American chief said the government should instead provide policy certainty to the industry to make it easy to do business.

"I don't think governments should be in the game of picking winners."

Meanwhile, Cutifani said Anglo American is looking to scale up investment into its Queensland coking coal mines and may look at adding new local operations, after a rise in coal prices last year allowed it to avoid selling these assets to slash debt, The Australian reported separately.

The company plans to increase productivity by four times at the Queensland coking coal operations, which ship about 20 million tonnes of coal per year.

However, the company is not likely to buy Rio Tinto's remaining coal mines in the province, but Cutifani said "he was not ruling it out and that Anglo would take a look at the assets."

According to Cutifani, new cleaner coal plants with better technology will be needed.

"There's no doubt the country will have to move to renewables and cleaner fuels, there's no doubt coal plays a part," Cutifani said.