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OZ state approves coal mine backed by Indian firm Adani

SYDNEY--An Australian state government Thursday approved a massive AU$16.5 billion (US$15.5 billion) mine development, saying the Indian-backed coal mine could be among the largest in the world.

Indian firm Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine and rail project in central Queensland is subject to dozens of environmental and social conditions and is yet to receive the federal government green light.

But Queensland's minister for state development Jeff Seeney said if it were to go ahead, the development would play a major role in opening up the state's resource-rich Galilee Basin.

“This project has the potential to be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world,” Seeney said after the state's coordinator-general signed off on the deal.

The project proposes a combination of open-cut and underground coal mining and is forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for export, Seeney said.

He added that the mine and rail project would boost the economy, having the potential to create up to 2,500 construction and 3,900 operational jobs.

“It is expected to generate over AU$500 million annually in direct and indirect benefits to Queensland's economy during construction and AU$3 billion at full export capacity,” he said.

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