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Australia gives environmental nod to new coal project in Queensland

Published on Dec 21, 2013 11:12 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Waratah Coal on Saturday welcomed the Australian government's approval of its A$6.4 billion (S$7.2 billion) Galilee coal project, as conservationists warned the decision threatened the environment.

The proposed coal mine, rail and infrastructure development in Queensland received approval for its environmental impact statement on Friday.

"The project has been approved subject to 49 strict conditions to avoid, mitigate and manage impacts to matters of national environmental significance, including water resources," the government said.

Brisbane-based Waratah Coal, which is owned by one of Australia's richest men and new federal politician Clive Palmer, plans to build a thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin coal region.

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