March 12, 2019 / 6:54 AM / 6 months ago

Australia's New Hope clears environmental hurdle at coal project

(Reuters) - New Hope Corp Ltd said on Tuesday its New Acland coal mine project has cleared an environmental hurdle in the Australian state of Queensland and can now seek further permits to begin operations.

The permit issued by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science sets a number of tough conditions for the stage 3 project, the company said in a statement.

New Hope said it now needed mining leases and a related water license from the government before it could begin operations.

With coal reserves at its Jeebropilly mine expected to run out by late 2019, New Hope has shifted its focus to the larger reserves at its New Acland mine, according to its 2018 annual report.

The miner said it expects the New Acland project to generate about A$7 billion ($4.95 billion) in economic activity over the expected 14-year life of the project.

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin and Darren Schuettler

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