The AOC has signed a long-term sponsorship deal with Hancock Prospecting ©AOC

The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) has demanded John Coates resign as Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President after the organisation signed a sponsorship deal with a mining company for events including the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Hancock Prospecting, owned by the magnate Gina Rinehart, has partnered with the AOC to sponsor Australia's team at Olympic events such as Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and Milan Cortina 2026.

The mining giant will also "support" Australian teams at the Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon 2024 and in Dakar 2026, and the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games.

The QCC has previously expressed concerns to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the Games being linked to companies which contribute "to avoidable carbon emissions such as fossil fuel extraction".

"This is a disaster," QCC director Dave Copeman said.

"It's such an own goal. 

"It shows nothing is free from being up for sale.

"There's a real question of how much does a couple of big cheques to Swimming Australia and the AOC buy you out of a history of environmental devastation.

"How the hell did they do this? 

"What are they thinking?"

John Coates has been urged to resign as AOC President by critics of the new sponsorship deal ©Getty Images
John Coates has been urged to resign as AOC President by critics of the new sponsorship deal ©Getty Images

A spokesperson for the AOC told The Guardian in Australia that Coates "has no intention of stepping down before the end of his term".

The spokesperson added there was "no conflict" between the sponsorship and the AOC’s commitment to its sustainablity goals.

Coates, an IOC vice-president, is due to stand down as AOC President in April after serving in the role since 1990.

The Australian official welcomed the deal with Hancock Prospecting, claiming it represents a "major commitment to Australian sport".

"On the eve of farewelling our team to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the timing is perfect," Coates said.

"The AOC is proudly independent of Government. 

"We neither receive nor seek federal funding for our day-to-day operations. 

"We are grateful to have the support of Mrs Gina Rinehart, Hancock Prospecting and all our partners to ensure we retain that independence."

Rinehart, the executive chairman of the company, said: "We are delighted to take the next step in our long-term support of Australia’s best athletes and become an official AOC partner.

"As Australia looks to hosting an Olympic Games in 10 years, it will be important for our country to be open to investment and reduce the regulatory burden that impacts development needed to help make Queensland shine and the Games a success."