Australian iron ore prospector Hancock Prospecting says it plans to develop two mines at Alpha and Kevin’s Corner in the Galilee Basin and a 500km rail line to port facilities.

The government has identified the coal-rail corridor as a significant infrastructure facility, which will be able to utilise Abbott Point.

The decision will enable the company to proceed with a bankable feasibility study.

If the project is approved, it will be the largest thermal coal mine in Australia, generating employment for thousands of people.