A GIANT mine planned in Queensland, Australia, is facing a court challenge over the impacts that burning its coal will have on rising sea-levels, global temperatures and ocean acidification.
The Swiss-owned mining company Xstrata wants to extract about 30 million tonnes of coal a year for the next 30 years from the mine next to the small township of Wandoan.
According to figures from Xstrata, once all emissions are counted for the life of the mine - including the burning of the coal - some 1.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere.
The mine would be the state’s largest and one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere in a country which is already the world’s leading coal exporter. The mining lease covers 32,000 hectares (123 sq miles).