Dairy company one step closer to opening coal mine

One of the world's largest dairy companies, Fonterra, is ready to open up a coal mine through its subsidiary Glencoal Energy.

Fonterra received government approval on Thursday for an open-cast coal mine in North Waikato, New Zealand, according to a press release. 

The mine is expected to run for eight years and provide coal for the company's milk drying plants nearby.

But Thursday's announcement comes amidst much opposition. An independent commission gave the green light after three weeks of hearings during which residents strongly voiced their opposition, citing financial and health concerns.

Residents told the Waikato Times that they are "willing to take it further."