A $1.4 billion zinc, lead and silver mine is a step closer to construction in Queensland's north-west.
The board of the global resources company MMG has endorsed the development of the Dugald River project, north-west of Cloncurry.
The company received environmental approvals earlier this year and says the latest development is a significant milestone.
Spokeswoman Sally Cox says the mine will help to replace production when the nearby Century mine closes in 2016.
"The project will create around 600 jobs during the construction phase, then employ around 500 people on an ongoing basis once it is in operation," she said.
"So we do believe it will have a very positive input into the local Queensland and Australian economy.
"It is still subject to funding, full funding arrangements for the project which we hope will be finalised early next year." She says the first production from Dugald River is scheduled for 2015, before reserves are depleted from the company's Century mine.
"Now our Century mine just up the road is one of the world's largest projects," she said.
"That mine we expect will have its current ore depleted in around 2016, so having the Dugald River project come online at around 2015 will actually we believe ...
be very prudent in meeting what we see will be a shortfall in global supply for zinc at that point."