RAINFALL from Cyclone Dylan has enabled nine Central Queensland mines to release water into the Fitzroy River catchment.
Three Central Queensland mines - including German Creek mine near Middlemount, Kestrel mine north-east of Emerald and South Walker Creek mine near Moranbah - are currently releasing water from their sites.
The receiving waters are Bee Creek, Crinum Creek and Oaky Creek.
At its first and third release points, Kestrel mine is discharging water at a flow rate of 2680 m3/s (cubic metres per second).
Releases at Kestrel and South Walker Creek started on Saturday, February 2.
Flow rates at South Walker's three discharge points are believed to be less than that of Kestrel. At one point, the flow rate is 1400m3/s.
The remaining six mines have stopped discharging.
CQ mine water release sites
- BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Coal's South Walker Ck mine into Bee Ck - February 2
- Rio Tinto Coal's Kestrel mine into Crinum Ck - February 2
- Xstrata Coal's Oaky Creek mine into Oaky Ck - February 2
- BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's Gregory Crinum mine into Crinum Ck - February 1
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said under normal approvals, mines were permitted to release stored water during times of high water flows under their Environmental Authority to ensure dilution levels were high and water quality was maintained.
"This has been standard practice for many years, including under the previous Labor government," she said.
"Mine water releases must meet strict environmental and water quality standards - including the cumulative impacts of releases on the waterway."
In October last year the Newman government announced the expansion of the 2013-2014 Fitzroy Basin coal mine water pilot program to effectively manage mine water releases.
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