Australia’s next new coal mine could be the Isaac River proposal, located around 150km south west of Mackay, Queensland.
The mine aims to produce 3 million tonnes of coking coal which would result in around 7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it a small mine by Queensland standards, but despite its size it will destroy habitat of several vulnerable species including koalas, greater gliders and the ornamental snake.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek was supposed to have made a decision on whether to approve Isaac River by 14 April 2023, but on 6 April the Environment Department extended the timeframe for the decision by two weeks:
The notice of that decision was only published on 14 April, late on the Friday afternoon:
Just in March, the proponents of Isaac River, Bowen Coking Coal, began production from another new mine that already had federal approval, Ellensfield South. Isaac River already has state approvals in place and is aiming to be in production this year.
Two new coal mines in a space of months?! Remember the International Energy Agency, the UN and many countries (especially in the Pacific) have called for no new coal mines to be developed at all.