SHREE Minerals is expected to begin work on its $20 million iron-ore mine in the Tarkine within days, despite an environment group being ``highly likely'' to challenge the latest Federal Government approvals in court.
New Federal Environment Minister Mark Butler has reissued environmental approvals for the Nelson Bay River mine imposing 30 conditions, including a requirement that the company pay $1 million for research into threatened species in the area.
However, the strict conditions did not satisfy environment group Save the Tarkine, which successfully had the original approval thrown out by the Federal Court.
``We are considering the document at the moment, but on the face of it there is nothing in this set of conditions that is different enough from the previous set that we wouldn't expect to go back to court and get the same result,'' Save the Tarkine spokesman Scott Jordan said.
The Federal Court ruled that former federal environment minister Tony Burke had failed to properly consider formal advice about the Tasmanian devil.
``Reading the document after the event is not sufficient,'' Mr Jordan said.
Mr Butler has retained most of the original conditions imposed by Mr Burke and added extra requirements such as making staff travel to and from the site on a bus.
The company must donate $600,000 to Tasmanian devil research and maintaining the insurance population and will be fined $48,000 for each devil killed above two in any 12-month period.
There are also fines for spot-tailed quoll and wedge-tailed eagle deaths.
Tasmanian Minerals Council chief executive Terry Long welcomed the approval but said the conditions were too onerous.
``We believe these are political conditions, imposed in response to the eco-warriors, rather than being necessary on a scientific basis,'' Mr Long said.
Deputy Premier Bryan Green said the decision was great news for the North-West.
``The company has advised it plans to immediately restart its site preparation work in accordance with approved management plans for the mining operation,'' Mr Green said.
He said he expected work to begin within days.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said Mr Butler was the third ``minister against the environment'' since 2010.
``A short-term mine with very few jobs is yet another ad hoc promise from a desperate local member backed by a new federal minister,'' Senator Milne said.