ABN - Glencore (LSE:GLEN) has been granted a series of mining leases for a multi-billion dollar coal mine by Queensland’s Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.
Lynham granted the diversified mining giant three 27-year leases covering 30,000 hectares for the first stage of its US$7 billion Wandoan mine in the Surat Basin, in the state's Southwest.
The minister said the project would be the first major coal development of this scale in the Surat Basin, and would require a railway link to Gladstone Port in order to export the produce.
The mine could potentially produce up to 22 million tonnes of thermal coal annually when operational.
However, national protest alliance Lock The Gate has criticised the approval for encroaching on the arable land of local farmers in the region.
“A large number of farmers have already been displaced by Glencore over this vast area, and now we fear that remaining farmers on and near the lease will be forced out,” said spokesperson Carmel Flint.
Environmental concerns have also been sounded by various groups troubled by the arrival of another carbon-polluting coal mine in Australia.