An open-cut coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin, which, it is claimed, will produce up to 10Mt of premium hard coking coal per year, has been given the go-ahead.

The coking and thermal coal extracted from the mine will be shipped to Asian steel mills as the project is a joint venture between QCoal, a privately-owned Australian company, and the Japanese steelmaker, JFE Steel Corporation.

In total, the project is estimated to be worth $1.76 billion Australian dollars.

The Bowen Basin is a coal-rich area of Queensland that has been hit hard, in an economic sense, by falling coal prices. The mine will create hundreds of jobs in the area.

A report by The Australian estimates that 350 jobs will be created during the mine's construction and a further 545 jobs once the mine is up and running.

Queensland's deputy premier Jeff Seeney told The Australian that there could be 'flow-on' benefits to nearby towns and businesses in the shape of 'even more local jobs'.

While the mine has been approved by Queensland, there are a number of conditions – 122 in total – that must be met during the construction phase, when the mine is operational and when it is eventually closed (in 2044).

The next stage in the approval process is federal government environmental approval.

It is estimated that the mine, otherwise known as the Byerwen Coal Project, will produce coal for 46 years once operational and that it will take two years to construct the mine.