Western Australia's Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, has approved plans to build a $500 million coal export facility at Bunbury Port.
Construction is expected to start in mid-2015, with the first exports planned for 2017. Coal for exports will travel to the port by rail.
The facility will require dredging up to 1.9 million cubic metres at the port and blasting 20,000 cubic metres of rock.
Approval was given with a number of conditions, including a requirement to monitor dolphin populations and not conduct blasting activities during dolphin calving periods from October to May each year.