Queensland minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham approved the individual lease grant for 70441 Carmichael, 70505 Carmichael East and 70506 Carmichael North, which are estimated to contain 11 billion tonnes of thermal coal.

According to state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the approval had undergone "extensive government and community scrutiny" and were a step towards securing jobs for region, with more than 5,000 jobs expected to be generated during construction and more than 4,000 during operation.

"I know the people of north and central Queensland will welcome this latest progress for the potential jobs and economic development it brings closer for their communities," she said.

Palaszczuk said "stringent conditions would continue to protect the environment, landholders' and traditional owners' interests and Great Barrier Reef".

Over 200 conditions apply to the project which, if it goes ahead, would be the largest coal mine in Australia.

The project now has 19 permits and approvals at all three levels of government, including nine primary approvals from the state and the federal government.

"They include secondary approvals for rail, port facilities, power, water, roadworks and the airport and a financial assurance with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.''

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