Australia approved the opening of a huge coal mine. It will be nearly 450 square kilometers in size. In the state of Queensland has approved the establishment of a huge Carmichael coal mine. The last legal barrier to the mine was removed when the state government approved the mine's groundwater plan.
Owned by the Indian company Adani, it will become Australia's largest and one of the largest in the world.
The mining area is approximately 447 square kilometres, which is more than the total area of the Swedish city of Stockholm.
The mine is expected to extract up to 60 million tonnes of coal per year. The coal would be transported mainly to India for incineration. With the mine, Australian coal exports could grow by a fifth.
The mine has sparked a heated political debate in Australia that has confronted the jobs that the mine brings with its environmental and climatic emissions.
The mine consumes enormous amounts of water, endangered species and coal is transported through ports near the Great Barrier Reef.
Parliamentary elections were held in Australia in the spring, with climate policy playing a key role. The election was unexpectedly won by the Conservative-Liberal Party campaigning for coal power. There was opposition from the Workers' Party, who would have liked to have a clearer climate policy.
Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch assures her that the mine's hazards will be carefully monitored and that its terms of operation are based on the best scientific knowledge, reports The Guardian.
Construction work on the mine has begun already.