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Why green groups are leaving the newest coal mine alone

The Australian Conservation Foundation has reacted somewhat unexpectedly to the announcement of a new coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced final approval had been given for the $1 billion Olive Downs coking coal mine.

ACF Climate Change and Clean Energy Program Manager Gavan McFadzean admitted to Scott Emerson the project will not receive the same amount of backlash Adani did; “not that we’re a big fan”.

He explained why the ‘coking coal’ – or ‘metallurgical coal’ – which will be extracted at Olive Downs is less of an issue for green groups than thermal coal.

“Making steel from hydrogen or renewables … we’re rapidly approaching that technology, but it’s not here yet.

“Thermal coal is responsible for about 30 per cent of global emissions, whereas met coal is about 7 per cent.”

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Image: Getty