Aussie billionaire Clive Palmer’s massive coal mine approved

The Queensland government has given the green light to Clive Palmer's $6.4 billion coal mine and rail project in the state's west.

The Australian mining billionaire’s company, Waratah Coal, is planning a massive new mine and associated infrastructure near Alpha in the Galilee Basin.

The project, reports The Herald, will bring income for the government and a significant amount of jobs, but is likely to adversely affect Queensland's manufacturing industry.

It is estimated that Waratah will generate 3,500 jobs during construction and over 2,300 permanent positions, but based on the State Government's assessment of the mine, Queensland's manufacturing sector could lose up to $1.2 billion, as workers and investment redirect interest from other sectors into mining.

The approval — the mine still needs the Federal Government blessing— covers the development of new open cut and underground mines, associated infrastructure near Alpha, and a 470-km rail linking the mine and Abbot Point port.

Palmer made his fortune, officially pegged at a little less than a billion dollars, from mining rights to the iron ore fields of Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Brisbane-based Waratah Coal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Palmer's Mineralogy Pty Ltd, holds nearly 17,000 sq. km of tenements in the prolific Galilee basin with four large coal mining projects.

In 2009, the company signed a deal with China's Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) for project funding.