Fonterra, one of the world's largest dairy companies, has been approved to start work on its Mangatangi open cut coal mine in New Zealand.
Working through its subsidiary Glencoal Energy it received approvals to mine the 30 hectare site for the next eight years, according to Stuff.co.nz.
It initially announced plans to mine at Mangatangi late last year, as it winds down operations at its existing Kopako 3 (K3) mine.
David Wright, Fonterra's national consents manager explained that it chose to develop its own mine as Fonterra wanted to ensure the cost of coal and security of supply.
The 120 000 tonnes of coal mined will beused to power its milk drying plants at Waitoa, Te Awamutu, and Hautapu.
However the approvals have not been welcomed by local residents.
Protests began earlier this year when activists handed out free Fonterra products with a side of coal highlight the company's mining actions.
The group behind the protest said that coal is adding to climate change issues and instead argue more sustainable fuels should be used.
Locals say they are now 'gutted' by the news of the coal mine's approval and will consider action to stop operations at the site.
We'll have a get-together and decide if we are going to go any further," Coal Free Mangatawhiri chief Bill Morris said.
"We're quite willing to take it further."