Insurer AXIS Capital reportedly pulls bid to cover Adani mine's rail line

Protesters opposing to the construction of the Adani coal mine block a main road in Southbank during a rally in Brisbane. Source: AAP

AXIS Capital has reportedly pulled its bid to insure the construction of the Adani rail line.

Insurance company AXIS Capital has reportedly become the latest company to refuse to cover the Adani rail line.

Reuters reports that a source told them the Bermuda-based company had pulled its bid to insure the construction of the Carmichael rail line, ahead of the release of a policy to cut its exposure to coal. 

It's the latest blow to the controversial Queensland mine with a growing number of companies refusing to be involved. 

Protestors holding signage during a Stop Adani rally outside Parliament House in Canberra, Sunday May 5.
Protestors rally against the Adani coal mine outside Parliament House.

AXIS Capital has been contacted by SBS News for comment. 

The mine which is set to produce 8 million to 10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year was approved by the federal government in June, despite strong opposition from environmental groups. 

Activist investor group Market Forces welcomed news of AXIS Capital's decision.

“Adani continues to be abandoned by its corporate partners that don’t want to be associated with a destructive new coal project,'' Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait said.

Market Forces said 15 insurance companies, including Axis, have ruled out supporting the mine, along with 43 other companies. 

In August, engineering partner Aurecon announced an end to its long-standing business relationship with Adani, in a move that surprised Adani.

“AXIS’ move, following engineering firm Aurecon’s severing of ties to Adani, shows the Carmichael coal project is toxic, not just for our climate but for a company’s brand too,” Mr Brait said.

Adani protecting businesses from harassment

It's unclear how AXIS Capital's withdrawal will affect negotiations with insurance broker Marsh on a proposed coverage deal. 

An Adani Mining spokesperson said details of insurance providers for the project were commercial in confidence.

"We don’t routinely discuss who our contractors and business partners are in order to protect these businesses from becoming the targets of activists," the spokesperson said. 

“Legitimate law-abiding businesses should be able to conduct their day-to-day business free of harassment."

Anti-Adani protesters hold placards outside the offices of engineering and construction company GHD in Brisbane, Thursday, August 1, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Adani Mining does not want businesses its working with to become targets for activists.

The Indian company said it had the necessary insurance in place for the construction activities.

“We think it is only reasonable that companies and their employees are afforded the opportunity to go about their legal business without their livelihoods being threatened by activists.

“We are all for people having their say providing people do it respectful and legal manner. However, these activists do not speak for everybody in the community."

The Stop Adani movement has targeted other insurance companies including AIG which it believes has been providing coverage for the mine. 

In August, protesters rallied outside the insurer's Sydney headquarters calling on the company to rule out doing any deals with Adani Mining. 

"Rather than continuing to exacerbate the crisis, other insurers such as Canopius, Lloyds and AIG need to follow in AXIS Capital’s footsteps and give the Adani Carmichael project the wide berth it deserves,” Mr Brait said.

AIG declined to comment. 

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