Prior to the development of a $10bn coal mine, the company, which is a joint venture between India-based GVK Power & Infrastructure and Hancock Prospecting, has been ordered to comply with environmental regulations over water conservation.

A mining lease approval for the Alpha thermal coal mine has been recommended to the State Government when all of the conditions are addressed, regarding objections made under the Mineral Resources Act and the Environmental Protection Act.

Earlier, GVK Hancock had secured federal approval for the Alpha thermal coal mine project in the remote Galilee basin.

The move comes after farmers and other landowners living near the project site claimed that too much water would be directed away from farmland and be used for the mine operations.

As part of the approval, the mine’s operators will have to provide additional water supplies to the surrounding areas, while keeping a sufficient amount of water available on-site.

Hancock holds a 21% interest in the Alpha coal project.

State approval for the project was granted on 29 May 2012 and federal approval was granted on 23 August 2012.