Adani's Australia coal unit back in the spotlight after name change

Bravus has employed more than 1,500 people and issued more than S$1.46 billion worth of tenders.
Bravus has employed more than 1,500 people and issued more than S$1.46 billion worth of tenders.PHOTO: ADANI AUSTRALIA/FACEBOOK

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - India's Adani Enterprises, which has attracted criticism in parts of Australia for developing a new thermal coal mine in Queensland, has drawn attention again by changing the name of its Australian unit to Bravus Mining and Resources.

The rebrand comes as the miner readies to ship out its first coal next year in the face of years of vocal opposition from climate change activists, whose catch cry "Stop Adani" became a marketing slogan emblazoned on T-shirts and earrings.

That opposition ultimately helped swing Australia's national election last year towards a conservative coalition victory, as workers in coal producing regions voted to support new jobs.

"We will continue to stand up and deliver for the good of our community, no matter how courageous it requires us to be, and Bravus, our new name, reflects this intent," Chief Executive David Boshoff said in a statement.

Bravus is building its 10 million tonne per year mine and rail line in the northern state of Queensland even as climate change activists continue to target its bankers, insurers and suppliers.

It has employed more than 1,500 people and issued more than A$1.5 billion (S$1.46 billion) worth of tenders, it said.

But some are now disputing Adani's take on its new name, with Greenpeace and a scholar from the Australian National University saying the Latin for 'brave' is not bravus.

"'Bravus' is ...based on the Latin 'barbarus', meaning barbarian," Greenpeace said in a statement. "The word itself had much of a connotation of a violent enemy of civilisation."

Chris Bishop, a classical studies lecturer at ANU in Canberra said in the English language "the word 'Bravo' (derived from the older bravus) can mean 'a mercenary, an assassin, or a desperado."

Adani stuck to its definition when contacted by Reuters.

"The new name Bravus is derived from the words 'brave' or 'bold'. It includes the 'us' suffix, highlighting the inclusive nature of us the company," a company spokesman said.

Other coal groups have also rebranded this year. Australian coal lobby group Coal21 became Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA) in August, while Arch Coal turned into Arch Resources in May.