Australian-based Metro Mining has submitted environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Bauxite Hills project in Cape York to the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP).
The company said that the latest move marks the commencement of the environmental assessment of the project by the government.
Under the approval process, DEHP and relevant referral agencies will assess the adequacy of the statement in response to the government prescribed terms of reference (TOR).
In its EIS submission, Metro Mining is seeking approval to develop a five million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) direct shipping ore (DSO) mine at the project.
The Bauxite Hills project requires no tailings dam, dredging or bed levelling of the Skardon River.
A team of consultants, led by CDM Smith, have evaluated the environmental impacts of the project.
Metro has either changed the mine plan in order to avoid the potential impact or proposed mitigation and management controls in cases where potential environmental impacts were identified.
These were done to make sure that the proposed activities will not cause any material environmental harm.
Metro Mining CEO Simon Finnis said: "We have engaged some of the industry’s best consultants to assess the Bauxite Hills Project including CDM Smith, who have significant experience in advising on the environmental aspects of other recently approved Projects of Regional Significance in Queensland.
"Given the care that has been invested in the project design, we are confident that all relevant environmental issues have been identified and adequately addressed."
The project is expected to be brought into production in a staged process.
Production from the mine is set to begin in the third quarter of 2017, with plans to mine between four and five million tonnes per annum.