Gina Rinehart and India's GVK Power & Infrastructure have received environmental approval for their plan to build a $6.4 billion coal project in Queensland.
Reuters reports the mine is the most advanced among a number of similar projects in the currently undeveloped Galilee Basin.
The Alpha coal project is owned 79 per cent by GVK and 21 per cent by Rinehart.
India-based Adani Enterprises is also planning a $10.9 billion coal and rail project in the Galilee, but the region's developments have been slow to gain approval and have faced significant opposition from environmentalists.
Clive Palmer is also planning to build a mine and rail line in the Galilee Basin, and QR National has also submitted plans for a third rival rail project.
According to The Australian GVK said the QLD Government previously asked the three parties to try and reach an accord over a rail and port arrangement for Galilee, but no agreement had been forthcoming.
GVK says the information currently sits with the State Government, which will make a decision on whether Palmer, QR, or GVK's infrastructure proposal will be built.
Earlier this year Palmer's China First launched an $8 billion lawsuit against QR and accused the rail specialist of copying its infrastructure plans.
According to Reuters GVK plans to start Alpha's construction in 2013, and the development will need 4,000 workers at its peak.
First production is slated for 2015.
Image: Hancock Coal