The Queensland Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from an environmental group to stop GVK and Hancock Coal’s proposed Alpha coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
Conservation group Coast and Country argued in the Land Court the burning of coal from the mine would create emissions that contribute to global warming.
However, the court determined the mine’s emissions to be “infinitesimal”, and made recommendation over any mining lease be based on different grounds, AAP reports.
Another application opposing the mine was lodged when it gained environmental approval.
The decision determined the Land Court had no jurisdiction over the effects of emissions.
Coast and Country spokesman Derec Davies called the decision “highly disappointing” particularly for the impacts it could have on Great Barrier Reef.
Jo-Anne Bragg, Environmental Defendors Office chief executive, said the group are considering an appeal to the High Court given the case was of high public interest.
GVK Hancock spokesman Josh Euler said the four-year legal battle had come to an end, signalling the mine can now create thousands of jobs in the state. He added that the site would go through the mining lease approval process before beginning construction.
Last year the Supreme Court rejected two appeals from environmental groups against the mine, with Euler stating at the time that the legal challenges were brought upon by anti-mining activists, rather than landholders.
Coast and Country has been ordered to pay Hancock Coal and the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection costs.