The decision on the contentious Tarkine mine in Tasmania’s north west is expected to be announced today.
Shree Metals wants to build an open cut mine in the wilderness area, where it has discovered 1.2 million tonnes of high-grade iron ore hematite, worth about $200 million at current market rates.
Earlier this month, the Tasmanian Government backed the decision made by Burke to allow the proposals to protect the wilderness area to drop, outraging environmentalist groups, who say the lapse of emergency heritage listing for the Tarkine region in north-west Tasmania in December allowed three mining companies to begin exploration and drilling work.
Burke is expected to announce the outcomes of an assessment by the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act today.
The project was originally axed to protect the endangered Tasmanian Devil and a leaked report from the Australian Heritage Council said 434 000 hectares of Tarkine’s temperature rainforest could be heritage listed.