The federal environment minister has delayed the approval of one of the world’s biggest coal mines in Queensland after the state gave the green light.
Final approval has been delayed for Indian mining giant Adani to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Queensland.
The Queensland government approved the $16.5 billion coal mine and rail project for the Galilee Basin last month.
But federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who has the final say, has delayed his decision until August 1.
“The date for a decision has been extended to ensure the minister can thoroughly consider the large volume of material associated with this project referral,” a spokesman told AAP.
Environmental activist group Greenpeace has welcomed the delay, but has called on Mr Hunt to reject the proposal entirely.
“Adani has a long record of environmental destruction and are not a company you would let look after your pot plants, let alone safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef,” Greenpeace’s Ben Pearson said in a statement.
Mr Pearson said the mine would see a new coal terminal built at Abbot Point in the reef’s World Heritage area, requiring dredging and dumping and thousands of extra ships through the reef.
Queensland’s project approval is subject to 190 conditions, including mandatory agreements with landowners on groundwater.
The project is expected to create 2500 construction and 4000 operational jobs.