Activists challenge approval of GVK Hancock’s $5.32bn Alpha Coal mine in Queensland

21 April 2015 (Last Updated April 21st, 2015 18:30)

Environmental activists have challenged the Land Court of Queensland's approval of GVK Hancock's A$6.9bn ($5.32bn) Alpha Coal project in Galilee Basin.

Environmental activists have challenged the Land Court of Queensland's approval of GVK Hancock's A$6.9bn ($5.32bn) Alpha Coal project in Galilee Basin.

Conservation group Coast and Country argued in the Supreme Court that the decision did not consider the impact of carbon emissions from the coal to be exported from the mine.

The group has urged the court to consider the impact on climate change of transporting and using the exported coal.

Conservationists estimated that the mine would produce 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

"GVK Hancock has claimed that Coast and Country's appeal will slow the mine's progress and affect the coal industry."

Alpha is a joint venture between Hancock Coal and Indian company GVK.

Following the protests, GVK Hancock said the court process will delay thousands of jobs for Queensland.

According to the company, Galilee Basin project's construction phase will create around 7,000 jobs in addition to putting $44bn in royalties and taxes into state and federal governments.

GVK Hancock has claimed that Coast and Country's appeal will slow the mine's progress and affect the coal industry.

The company said in a statement: "To date, we have invested tens of millions of dollars on a comprehensive suite of environmental assessments, which guided approvals from state and federal governments.

"Our assessments included a comprehensive hydrogeological assessment, which involved detailed modelling of the underlying geology, an evaluation of groundwater and aquifer occurrences and an assessment of local and regional groundwater resources."

Local landholder Jericho grazier Bruce Currie said he is 'no anti-coal mining activist' but supports the current legal challenge to the mine.