Shree Minerals' Nelson Bay River Iron ore mine project is finally open, and it is the first new greenfield project for Tasmania in more than a decade.

The story of this mine started six years ago, when Shree discovered a rich seam of high quality ore near Temma in the Tarkine region.

Since then there have been state approvals, commonwealth environmental approvals, a legal challenge to the project, yet another commonwealth approval and finally, a sod turning.

After all that, the mine is now subject to about 180 state and federal environmental conditions, but Shree Chairman Sanjay Loyalka is optimistic.

"We believe that the current resource that we have is only scratching the surface," he said.

"We are probably sitting on a very large system, so the 10 year mine life that we have is probably based on very conservative engineering.

"We believe this mine will go on for many decades," he said.

The new site takes up 154 hectares, and will host three pits, cut over the first few years.

The owners are anticipating they will extract 4 million tonnes over 10 years - and to give you an idea of what that actually looks like, it will fill the equivalent of 335,000 milk trucks over the course of a decade.

All that ore is expected to bring in about $80 million revenue per year.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green said it was a historic day.

"Once people understand the size and scale of this project, weighed against the massive area of the north west coast, where mines have existed for over 100 years, they will appreciate that we can have mining and fantastic environmental outcomes as well," he said.

Save the Tarkine have vowed to continue their fight against the mine, and described the opening as a shameful day for the protection of the environment.

The new Nelson Bay River Mine will create 120 direct new jobs in the region, as well as flow on employment and stimulation for the local economy.

Shadow Spokesman for Mining Adam Brooks says the news is good, but the state of politics in Tasmania could be frightening off future investment.

Asked what he would actually do differently to the current government, he said his party would have no more lock-ups.

"Not one more stick, not one more stone," he said.

"We will come down hard on protesters that want to illegally protest."

Asked whether he supports the right of protesters to take democratic action, he said he does.

He also pledged to remove the right of non-related third party appeals so that opposing forces could not stop investment due to ideological opposition.

Digging will commence next week, and the first shipment will depart for China next week.

The new Federal Government hopes to streamline the environmental approval process for potential investors, giving the states the power to make final approvals, even on projects that trigger the Environmental and Biological Conservation Act.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green says his government is in a good position to deliver on Australia's international environmental obligations to the United Nations if the state's are given responsibility for future mining approvals.

"Already we've made significant inroads into the so-called one stop shop," he said.

"In fact we already have a bi-lateral approval process that is in existence in Tasmania and it is weighed against the EPBC act, which is the toughest environmental legislation in the world.

"So my expectation is the answer would be yes."

The Nelson Bay River mine proposal faced action in the Federal Supreme Court and had its Commonwealth approval overturned before it was granted a second approval.

The action was brought by environmental conservation group Save the Tarkine, the same group who have challenged the commonwealth approval to a neighbouring project at Riley Creek.

Shree Owner Sanjay Loyalka said he is not concerned about the threat of litigation or further action from Save the Tarkine or any other group.

"We have full faith in the system," he said.

"This project has been assessed in a very rigorous manner so there is no need to be worried.

"Even if there is a protest, we are in a democracy so people have the right to do that - and we recognise that," he said.

Asked what his views are on the current debate on foreign investment in Australia, he said it is key to growth.

"Today, the world we stand in is a smaller place," he said.

"Capital is mobile.

"We do need foreign investment here in Australia," he said.

"I think the resource potentiality in Australia is very large, and there is a lot of capital here in Australia, but we would do well to attract foreign investment capital as well."

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