The Eden Project, the UK charity which redeveloped a clay quarry in Cornwall into a popular ecotourism project, has announced plans to turn a former coalmine in Anglesea, Victoria, Australia, into an AU$150 million (£81.5 million) ecotourism attraction.

Partnering with Alcoa, which operates bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting activities in Australia, the Eden Project has begun a community consultation for feedback on the plans to develop an ambitious ecotourism attraction within Alcoa’s former coalmine.

The plans are in-line with the region’s commitment to developing environmental and cultural sites, which include the Great Otway National Park and the Great Ocean Road.

Speaking about the project, David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said the concept:

“Could bring environmental, social and economic regeneration to Anglesea and the wider region, while re-imagining what’s possible within Australian mine rehabilitation sites”.

“We’ve envisioned a place of extraordinary experiences, fusing science and wonder to immerse visitors in the extreme elements – fire, air, earth and water – which have shaped the surf coast region and its inhabitants for millennia, creating a must-see prelude for a journey on the Great Ocean Road.

“This concept will be a global exemplar of sustainability and environmental excellence,” Harland added.

John Osborne, director of asset planning and management at Alcoa, commented that the proposal was:

“An opportunity to showcase the site’s unique natural values while making a significant and lasting contribution to the region for generations to come.

“We look forward to receiving input from the Anglesea community and key stakeholders on this concept for the freehold mine site,” said Osborne.

The plans are in their early consultation stages. It is believed if the plans were approved, the project would take around 18 – 24 months to construct.

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