A wildlife biologist says open cut mines in Tasmania's Tarkine region could prove to be safe havens for endangered Tasmanian devils.
Nick Mooney says the drama over mining and its impact on the environment, especially species such as the devil, is overblown, Hobart's Mercury newspaper reports.
Mr Mooney and Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council chief Jeremy Kouw believe open cut mining operations, which are free of dogs, have low speed limits and population monitoring, could help the endangered species.
Savage River mine, which will be in operation for at least the next 20 years, has a small population of around one devil every two square kilometres.
"In these sort of areas there are just a few devils covering a lot of ground and the bush on the leases surrounding the mine workings can provide a refuge," Mr Mooney said.
"Yes, they have dug a great big hole in the middle of devil habitat but there is a lot of habitat to share."
For their part the mining industry is required to record all sightings of devils and other native species on their sites and report any injuries to animals.
"As an industry we are keen to understand the science and minimise the impact on the environment we are operating in and demonstrate that in a practical way," Mr Kouw said.