Queensland’s Isaac River Coal Mine

The Australian government has recently approved the construction of a new coal mine, marking the first approval since being elected on a climate action platform. The mine, known as the Isaac River coal mine, is expected to have significant implications for the environment and climate goals.

Location and Extraction

The Isaac River coal mine will be situated near Moranbah in Central Queensland. This mine will primarily extract metallurgical coal, also referred to as coking coal, which is crucial in the steelmaking industry. Over a span of five years, the mine aims to produce approximately 2.5 million tonnes of coal.


Scientists have been vocal about their concerns regarding new fossil fuel projects, emphasizing that they are not aligned with global climate goals. The approval of the Isaac River coal mine poses potential challenges in achieving sustainability targets and mitigating climate change.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to estimates from the Australia Institute, the Isaac River coal mine’s operations could contribute up to 7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases during its lifetime. Such emissions further contribute to the climate crisis and its adverse effects.

Impact on Endangered Species

The proposed mine has raised concerns regarding the habitat of various endangered and vulnerable species. Koalas, central greater gliders, and ornamental snakes are among the wildlife that could be adversely affected if the mine progresses.

Lack of Submissions

During the formal consultation period, no submissions were made by the public or stakeholders, as confirmed by the government’s announcement. This absence of submissions raises questions about public engagement and participation in decision-making processes.

Emissions Reduction Target

The government has recently enshrined into law an ambitious emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030. However, the approval of new coal and gas projects, like the Isaac River coal mine, raises concerns about the government’s commitment to achieving this target.

UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC has repeatedly emphasized that new fossil fuel projects are not compatible with the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Urgent action is required to phase out existing fossil fuel infrastructure and transition to cleaner and sustainable energy sources.





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