The Queensland State Government has approved a multi-million dollar open cut phosphate mine for north-west of Mount Isa.
Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell said his department has completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Paradise South Phosphate Project.
Powell said an Environmental Authority draft was now needed to ensure ‘strict environmental conditions’ were met before the construction and operation of the mine could commence, The North West Star reported.
"These conditions will include requirements for surface water and groundwater management and monitoring, waste management and the rehabilitation of mined area."
He said the mine would produce up to seven million tonnes of rock phosphate each year with an operating cost of around $200 million a year over 20 years.
"Concentrated phosphate ore will be produced on-site before being shipped form the site for sale to domestic export markets," he said.
"The benefit to the regional economy will be approximately $150M per year."
Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady warned it would be a long ‘long journey’ to secure the necessary approvals but was optimistic about the future of the project.
"This project will provide 420 jobs for our city and will give encouragement to Mount Isa and the company to resolve the outstanding issues," he said.
"It's great news for the city and is another step in the long journey to securing the project's necessary approvals."