Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. IMG: via Shutterstock.

Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for the Environment, recently approved a $16.5 billion resources project that will go towards creating one of the largest coalmines in the in the world in Australia. The massive “Carmichael Project” will be overseen by the Indian mining company Adani, and will create new underground mines all over the Galilee Basin region of central Queensland.

For a little bit of background, the area is around seven times that of the Sydney harbor, making this new proposed coalmine the largest in Australia, if not in the world. Not only will this impact Australia’s environment for generations to come, this project will undoubtedly be felt around the world as well.

Another issue lies in the fact that the only way to get the coal out of the Carmichael mine will be through the Great Barrier Reef. This means millions of tons of seabed will be dumped in the World Heritage Area to make way for a new port expansions to help with the giant mine. The decision to move forward with the project came after Hunt had been warned several times by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and UNESCO that the developments would place the site in danger.

Estimates made by the Federal Government say that the planned mines have a resource value of $300 billion. Adani’s approval came with 36 contingent conditions from the government, which was lowered from 190 previous.

The Carmichael coal mine would operate for about 90 years and is estimated to provide electricity for up to 100-million people in India. “The absolute strictest of conditions have been imposed to ensure the protection of the environment, with a specific focus on the protection of groundwater. These 36 conditions complement the conditions imposed by the Queensland government, and will ensure the proponent meets the highest environmental standards and that all impacts, including cumulative impacts, are avoided, mitigated or offset,” Hunt said.