Mining billionaire Clive Palmer is seeking approval to develop a Queensland coal mine twice the size of the controversial Carmichael project – but has done so by drawing heavily on environmental work done by other mines proposed for the region.
The federal environment department told Fairfax Media it will decide by Monday whether the Alpha North mine proposed by Mr Palmer’s Waratah Coal company will require “detailed assessment under national environmental law,” according to a spokeswoman.
The monster mine planned for the Galilee Basin, abuts Adani’s Carmichael mine, and is separate from a proposal by Mr Palmer to develop the China First mine, also in the region.
Alpha North would have an “initial life” of 30 years and produce as much as 80 million tonnes of thermal coal per year, or about double Carmichael’s, according to the proposal lodged with the federal government.
Alpha North’s footprint would be about triple Carmichael’s, at 144,000 hectares, or about 27 times that of Sydney Harbour, according to Greenpeace, which lodged a submission against the mine.At that size, it would be the “largest project of its type ever proposed in Australia,” the environmental group said.