Australia approves $16.5bn mine and rail scheme

29 July 2014

Australia’s federal environment minister has approved a major coal mine development in Queensland that has the potential to create up to 2,500 construction jobs.

Deputy premier Jeff Seeney said the Carmichael coal mine and rail project would play a vital role in opening up the resource-rich Galilee Basin. “This project has the potential to be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world,” he said.

The decision by federal environment minister Greg Hunt follows approval granted by Queensland’s independent coordinator general in May this year, and marks a significant step forward in the development of the AU$16.5bn (£9.1bn) project. The project has the potential to add 3,900 operational jobs in addition to the 2,500 predicted during construction.

The federal decision means construction and operation of the mine and rail project will be subject to 36 Commonwealth and 190 State Government environmental conditions that will protect water supplies in the Great Artesian Basin and local biodiversity.
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