SUBSTANTIVE work may not get to start on an iron-ore mine on the North-West Coast before it faces another legal challenge.
Shree Minerals had intended to start work immediately when it received renewed federal approval for its Nelson Bay mine, but bad weather had hampered progress.
Now, Save the Tarkine, the group responsible for the first legal challenge, intends to challenge the federal approval again once Environment Minister Mark Butler releases the formal statement of reasons.
The statement has to be released within 28 days of approval and is due on Wednesday.
Shree Minerals received approval for its Nelson Bay mine last month, after the first federal approval was overturned in a Federal Court challenge for neglecting to consider a report detailing the impact of the mine on Tasmanian devils.
``There's no firm date at the moment as to when mining work might start,'' spokesman Richard Gerathy said.
Save the Tarkine's Scott Jordan said the group would take Mr Butler to court on Thursday if it had not seen it by then.
He said the group was confident the second federal approval had not followed proper process either, and would launch another legal challenge with a request for an injunction to stop work while the matter is before the courts.
``If stopping this through the courts is not an option, then we will have to look at other avenues to stop it,'' Mr Jordan said.
The group's anti-mining vigil on the site is now in its 15th day.
Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said the community desperately needed the mine, which could create 100 jobs.
Cr Quilliam said a number of people in the area had resorted to fly-in, fly-out jobs in West Australian mines.
``We just need to get it going, get people back at work and stop people and their families leaving the state and going elsewhere to look for jobs,'' he said.