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Massive $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine approved

The Queensland government has signed off on Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine, set to be one of the biggest coal mines in the world.

At 10 billion tonnes, Carmichael is considered the largest single coal tenement in the world, and is set to open up the vast coal-rich region to mining for the first time.

The project will include the construction of the mine, a 189 kilometre rail line, water supply infrastructure, a workers' accommodation village and airport.

It is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction and 3,900 permanent jobs when operation begins.

The mine is expected to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, with Adani forecast to ship first coal to India in 2016.

The coal will be shipped through the controversial Abbott Point terminal.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the mine was approved subject to 190 strict environmental and social conditions. 

Seeney said wide-ranging conditions were set to protect landholders, local flora, groundwater resources, surface water and air quality as well as controls on dust and noise.

As part of the approval, Adani would be required to reach "make-good agreements with all affected landholders including the identification and provision of alternative water supplies".

“Adani will also be required to contribute water monitoring data and funding to a Galilee region water resource model," Seeney said.

The Queensland Coordinator-General’s 600-page report has been handed over to Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt for a decision.

GVK-Hancock, a joint venture between Gina Rinehart's Hancock Coal and Indian conglomerate GVK and Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal are also vying to build coal mines in the region.

Palmer’s China First mine and both GVK’s Kevin’s Corner and Alpha projects have received federal government approval.

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