Queensland‘s Land Court has recommended Xstrata’s Wandoan coal mine for government approvals, stating objections to its contribution to climate change were "irrelevant".
The mine had been appealed against by Friends of the Earth on the grounds that it would create around 1.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions over its lifetime, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
This is not the first time an Xstrata coal mine has seen objections due to its potential effect on climate change.
Earlier this year the NSW Land and Environment court declined to impose further greenhouse gas offset conditions on Xstrata’s Ulan coal mine after objections were raised by the Hunter Environment Lobby.
According to the QLD Land Court yesterday, subject to groundwater monitoring, the Wandoan project was recommended.
Xstrata Coal QLD COO Reinhold Schmidt labelled the decision a recognition of the miner’s "commitment to environmental management".
However the decision was roundly commended by the Greens.
Senator Larissa Waters stated that the approvals were ‘more bad news for the Great Barrier Reef’.
"Should the Queensland Government now approve this it would be the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere, and the climate impacts would devastate the Great Barrier Reef and the $6 billion it contributes every year to our economy," Waters said.
"This would be in addition to the huge shipping, dredging and dumping impacts on the Reef for the new port at Balaclava Island, where the newly-discovered species of dolphin lives – turning its habitat into a coal and gas highway.
"And all of this is in addition to the damage this mega coal mine would do to our prime farmland, right in the heart of the Darling Downs, Queensland’s food bowl."
Wandoan is aiming to produce approximately 30 million tonnes of thermal coal annually.