The extension at the Glencore site will allow the mine to run for another eight years and produce 52 million tonnes of coal. In a statement covering the reasons for the approval of extension, Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley stated: “The mine itself will contribute approximately 0.00073 % to global emissions per annum.”
She continued: “Based on this estimate, (the mine) … is unlikely to influence global emissions and climate change trajectories.”
Australia is the world’s biggest coal exporter. In 2020, the export value of coal from Australia was approximately A$54.62bn. The country has also yet to sign up for commitments for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, leading critics and climate campaigners to lambast the government for inaction on climate change.
The extension also follows a federal court decision in July declared that the nation’s environment minister has a “duty to take reasonable care” that young people won’t be harmed or killed by carbon dioxide emissions if she approves a coal mine expansion.