Whitehaven Coal's $607 million Vickery extension project has been fully approved after getting the Commonwealth green light.
Commonwealth Environment Minister Sussan Ley gave the project approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) act on Thursday.
In a statement to the ASX the same day, Whitehaven Coal welcomed the approval.
"Whitehaven welcomes the EPBC approval, which represents the culmination of an exhaustive process of technical evaluation and stakeholder consultation at both the state and federal levels spanning five years," the company said in a statement.
The state government's Independent Planning Commission approved the project in August 2020.
The approval will permit Whitehaven to expand an existing approval for its unbuilt Vickery Mine, about 25 kilometres from Gunnedah.
Local farmers and the Lock the Gate Alliance expressed disbelief at the approval, claiming it is a "betrayal of young people and future generations".
In July, the Environment Federal Court ruled that Ms Ley had a responsibility to avoid causing children harm as part of a legal challenge to her right to approve the new mine, which would generate about 370 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
The court challenge did not prevent the minister approving the mine.
A challenge by Ms Ley to the finding that she owes a "duty of care" to future generations and must consider climate change when approving resources project remains unresolved.
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW coordinator Georgina Woods said the approval was a betrayal.
"This Government is not just passively failing to protect Australians from climate change: its ministers are actively slamming the door on every opportunity they are given to address it," she said.
"If the appeal currently underway upholds the Federal Court's finding that Minister Ley owes Australian children a duty of care, it will become increasingly untenable for the Government to avoid taking action."
Boggabri farmer Dave Watt said history will remember that Ms Ley approved "a colossal new coal mine" as the world was experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.
"This mine will impact our precious Namoi River, it will force more farming families off their farms, and it will contribute to the climate crisis, further threatening agriculture. It's a bloody outrage," he said.
Whitehaven Coal told the ASX that global coal prices have hit record highs, with "strong demand in seaborne markets" for the type of high-quality coal that can be produced from the Vickery mine.
The project will contribute to global carbon emissions reduction, the statement said.
The state government's Independent Planning Commission ordered Whitehaven Coal to meet 184 conditions in order to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the mining project.
The project is expected to employ about 450 full-time-equivalent staff during operations.
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