The Queensland government has approved the highly controversial Carmichael coal mine, otherwise known as the Adani coal mine, in the state's Galilee Basin.
The state's environment department has finally signed off on the deal after a plan was reached about how to manage the groundwater in and around the mining site.
Campaigners have been protesting for months against the project, arguing the mine could disrupt the Carmichael River and lead to some pretty drastic circumstances.
Flinders University hydrogeology professor Adrian Werner warned: "Adani has underestimated the likely impacts to the springs by adopting highly unrealistic parameters in their calculations while their modelling is riddled with uncertainties.
"It will allow Adani to drain billions of litres of water with this groundwater plan then we are effectively playing Russian roulette with the very existence of a million-year-old ecosystem."
Protests against the mine have been happening for months. Credit: John Englart (Takver)/Creative Commons
Adani has promised to continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the water quality isn't compromised.
The Indian mining company will be allowed to start a box cut mine however it won't be able to go underground until further testing is done, according to the ABC.
Adani Australia chief executive Lucas Dow said they're raring to go.
"Over the coming days preparatory activities such as finalising contracts, mobilising equipment, recruitment and completing inductions will continue," he said.
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"These preparatory actions will enable us to then start construction activities, including fencing, bridge and road upgrades, water management and civil earthworks on the mine site.
"The level of construction activity will then steadily increase over the coming weeks."
The project will employ around 1,500 and people are being assured they're see the benefits of the mine once it gets up and running. It still needs to develop and build the railway that will take the coal from the mine to the exporter.
It's planning on using around 12.5 billion litres of water a year, which has sparked a lot of concern and led to hundreds of submissions to the government during the consultation process.
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