The Federal Government has announced it has approved Rio Tinto Alcan’s South of Embley buaixite mine in western Cape York, subject to 76 strict environmental conditions.

Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, said the he is satisfied with the conditions and place and that the project can go ahead without ‘unacceptable impacts on the environment’.

"My decision comes after a rigorous environmental assessment, and the conditions I have placed on the project will ensure that the region is protected," Mr Burke said.

"My decision has taken into account public comments, the advice of my department and independent advice from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority."

The original referral decision was revoked in March 2012 to assess previously unidentified shipping movements through the Great Barrier Reef.

"The inclusion of the shipping impacts on the Great Barrier Reef in the revised referral has meant that Rio Tinto Alcan provided a fundamentally more comprehensive environmental impact statement which addressed all the key environmental impacts on matters of national environmental significance," Mr Burke said.

"The conditions I have imposed today will ensure that shipping activity arising from this project does not negatively impact the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef, and meets the highest international standards in its planning, regulation, assessment and operation.”

The project is located south of the Embley River, approximately 40 kilometres south of Weipa, on the western side of Cape York, Queensland.

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