SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) - An Australian federal court on Wednesday blocked a proposed iron ore mine in the island state of Tasmania over fears the project could further endanger the rare Tasmanian devil in the area.
Shree Minerals Ltd’s planned mine, located in the Tarkine region in the northwest corner of Tasmania, was approved last December by then national environment minister Tony Burke.
But conservation group Save the Tarkine sought a judicial review, arguing that Burke did not comply with the Environmental Protection Act, and the court overturned the approval decision.
It was the first mine to be approved in the state in 26 years and Tasmania’s minister for energy and resources Bryan Green said the court ruling would cost the state 120 jobs and A$80 million ($74 million) in investment.
Shares in Shree plunged 29 percent on the news.
The Tarkine region is known for its high-quality wilderness and undisturbed rainforest, the ideal habitat for Tasmanian devils. The carnivorous marsupial is under severe threat from a contagious facial tumor disease which has eradicated over 90 percent of the species.
$1 = 1.0832 Australian dollars Reporting by Michael Sin; Editing by Lincoln Feast and