A proposed three million tonne a year coal mine in Tasmania's Midlands is unlikely to gain the support of the state government.
Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the government has not granted, or has been asked to grant, a mining lease for the land in question at Woodbury and Jericho.
"The Tasmanian government actively encourages mineral exploration, however, does not support mining of productive agricultural land where is it not in the state's best interest and in conflict with our target to grow the value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050," Mr Barnett said.
"Every mine lease application is assessed on its merits under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995."
Mr Barnett said Midland Energy and associated companies have held relevant exploration licenses since 2008.
"A grant of up to $50,000 was approved for Midland Energy under the Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative in March 2019 following a review by an assessment panel," Mr Barnett said.
"The company has until May 2020 to complete the drilling requirements to complete the grant."
Clark independent MHR Andrew Wilkie has called on the state government to withdraw its financial support of exploring the potential of coal mines in the Midlands, which he likened to the controversial Adani coal mine project in Queensland.
"The state government has to lead here and stop these coal mines," Mr Wilkie said.
"Midlands Energy Pty Ltd intends to become Australia's newest coal miner, exporting to Asia from mines in Tasmania.
"[It] is in the process of raising $10 million in the United States to fast-track approval for the mines that would export up to three million tonnes of a coal a year."
Mr Wilkie said the government should pull its support for the coal project or risk becoming a climate pariah.
"This is Tasmania's opportunity to show the world it's serious about climate change, renewable energy and protecting its precious clean-green brand," Mr Wilkie said.
Labor leader Rebecca White said there was an opportunity for the government to provide support to renewable energy industries that are waiting to emerge, such as hydrogen.
"There's an example of the government providing $50,000 for that company to conduct investigations, where at the same time we've got an opportunity to develop a renewable energy industry in hydrogen where the government has provided zero dollars," Ms White said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the Greens would be seeking a ban on opening any coal mines in Tasmania in Parliament.
"In an age of climate emergency, any government that enables coal mining is committing a crime against nature and future generations," Ms O'Connor said.
"To give away public money to a company that is exploring for coal in Tasmania is unethical and unjustifiable.
"If the government didn't at some level support coal mining in Tasmania, why would it give public money to this company to look for coal in Tasmania?
"Just last week, both the Liberal and Labor parties were crowing about Tasmania's progress towards being 100 per cent renewable.
"They can't have it both ways."
Ms O'Connor said the opening of more coal mines in Tasmania would effectively almost double the state's carbon emissions.
Wilderness Society campaign manager Tom Allen said the prospect of a new coal mine in the heart of Tasmania was not just a bad joke, it was a bad reality.
"As an island community, we know our future lies in agriculture, tourism, culture and nature protection, not coal mines. Choosing coal would be a total betrayal of the best Tasmania has to offer," Mr Allen said.
Mr Allen said Tasmania should be reducing its fossil fuel dependence and become 100 per cent carbon neutral.
"The fact that we are going in the opposite direction - backwards - in 2019, and actively facilitating a coal mine is ecocidal, immoral and just plain wrong," he said.
Doctors for the Environment Australia branch secretary Dr Anna Seth said a coal mine in the Midlands would contaminate soil, air and water in the area.
"The burning of coal emits hazardous air pollutants in the air we breathe, including particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, mercury and arsenic. These pollutants are linked to heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and lung cancer," Dr Seth said.
"Each step of the coal to energy generation lifecycle - mining, transportation, washing, combustion and disposing of waste - impacts human health.
"Coal is an unhealthy fuel of the past, and we need to look to healthier more sustainable alternatives."