Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price has moved the proposal Adani mine in Queensland a step closer to reality with her approval of the mine's groundwater plan.

"Following this independent assessment and the Department of Environment and Energy's recommendation for approval, I have accepted the scientific advice and therefore approved the groundwater management plans for the Carmichael coal mine and rail Infrastructure project under Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999," she said.

The decision is not the final word, and the Queensland government still needs to sign off on other aspects of the project before construction begins. 

"To date, only 16 of 25 environmental plans have been finalised or approved by the commonwealth and Queensland governments with a further nine to be finalised," Ms. Price added.  "It must meet further stringent conditions of approval from the commonwealth before it can begin producing coal."

Adani is welcoming the commonwealth's decision.