WHILE it was preparing for another legal battle in the courts, New Hope Corporation informed shareholders it had a key component to get stage three of the New Acland Mine over the line.

New Hope, which is currently locked in a prolonged Supreme Court appeal stoush with the Oakey Coal Action Alliance, wrote to the Australian Stock Exchange on February 19 saying it has satisfied Land Court requirements to gain an environmental authority.

An EA is crucial to the approval of any mine in Queensland, along with a mining lease and an associated water licence.

Workers leave their high-vis shirts at the site of the New Acland Mine.
Workers leave their high-vis shirts at the site of the New Acland Mine. Anton Rose

It was the source of major contention a year ago when the Department of Environment and Science declined to approve amendments to award New Hope the EA.

"The preconditions to the Land Court's recommendation to approve the application ... have now been satisfied," a company statement said.

The department is due to hand down its final decision on the EA on March 12.

Tanya Plant and Aileen Harrison celebrate the decision to deny New Acland Mine an environmental authority.
Tanya Plant (left) and Aileen Harrison celebrate the decision to refuse an amendment to New Acland Mine's evironmental authority last February. Anton Rose

When it was denied the EA amendments last year, OCAA president Paul King declared the mine expansion "dead" while New Hope CEO Shane Stephan said he was "disappointed with the outcome".

The company has been fighting on two fronts for approval, with the EA saga running alongside the current court of appeal case.