ENVIRONMENTAL FEARS: Doongmabulla Springs are recognised as nationally important.
ENVIRONMENTAL FEARS: Doongmabulla Springs are recognised as nationally important. Contributed

Adani rebuts claims of groundwater interference

ADANI Australia has sought to address groundwater concerns raised by media reporting of scientific recommendations to the federal government.

In recent months, the mining company has implemented an educational campaign to defuse environmentalist attacks, accusing them of scaremongering regarding the contentious issue of groundwater use.

Last month, CSIRO and other agencies were asked to provided an independent scientific consultancy report to the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy regarding the Carmichael mine.

Based on the CSIRO report, ABC news reported there were "serious flaws in Adani's water management plan to protect an ancient springs complex near its proposed Carmichael coal mine, threatening to further delay the controversial project".

 

ABC said central to CSIRO's reported concerns was level of groundwater draw-down that could be caused at the nationally important Doongmabulla Springs by the mine's operations and the need for further work to Adani's Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP) that was designed to minimise impacts on ecosystems.

CSIRO was said to be concerned about possible groundwater impacts from Adani's water bores at the mine site and said some of Adani's data was not verified.

Adani has dismissed the ABC reporting, saying its environment management plans were works in progress and it was currently finalising their environment management plans for the State and Federal Governments.

READ: Adani fights back over 'false' environmental claims

 

FACT SHEET: Adani  has released information explaining how their Carmichael Mine Project would protect the Doongmabulla Springs and groundwater supplies.
FACT SHEET: Adani has released information explaining how their Carmichael Mine Project would protect the Doongmabulla Springs and groundwater supplies. Contributed

"Receiving feedback on management plans and working through that with regulators is a normal part of the approvals process for any resources project," Adani said in a statement this week.

"The management plans detail how the Carmichael Mine will meet the 100 different conditions within the mine approvals that relate to groundwater.

"The mine's approvals already provide provisions to protect the Doongmabulla Springs, these state the water level in the springs cannot drop more than 20cm."

 

ENVIRONMENTAL FEARS: The Doongmabulla Springs are recognised as nationally important. Picture taken September 2018.
ENVIRONMENTAL FEARS: The Doongmabulla Springs are recognised as nationally important. Picture taken September 2018. Contributed

Adani said it was assisting with and welcomed a review by the CSIRO as they were committed to working transparently and to the same standards that were in place for other Australian mines.

"This level of rigorous scientific scrutiny is in place to give the community confidence that mines like Carmichael will be operated responsibly," Adani said.

"We have been working closely with regulators over a very long period and have provided scientific information about groundwater in and around the mine and how we will manage and monitor it.

"This includes how our network of more than 100 groundwater monitoring bores will work."

READ: Politicians face local backlash against Adani's water use

 

FACT SHEET: Adani  has released information explaining how their Carmichael Mine Project would protect the Doongmabulla Springs and groundwater supplies.
FACT SHEET: Adani has released information explaining how their Carmichael Mine Project would protect the Doongmabulla Springs and groundwater supplies. Contributed

According to Adani, the main water source for the Carmichael mine will be dam water with groundwater only extracted from in and around the mine open cut pits to allow mining to be conducted safely.

Over the past two years, Adani said the GDEMP had been through 10 rounds of assessments with the Australian and Queensland Governments.

"This has included definitively identifying the Clematis Sandstone as the source aquifer of the Doongmabulla Springs in October 2018," it said.

"The springs lie 11 km from the mine and their underground water source, the Clematis Sandstone, is not connected to the Carmichael Mine.

"It is separated from the mine by the Rewan Formation, a 250-300m (thick) underground claystone formation. It acts as an impervious layer, restricting water from flowing between the underground aquifers."

 

GROUNDWATER EXPLAINED: The source aquifer of theDoongmabulla Springs (Clematis Sandstone) will not be directly affected by mining, according to Adani's research.
GROUNDWATER EXPLAINED: The source aquifer of theDoongmabulla Springs (Clematis Sandstone) will not be directly affected by mining, according to Adani's research. Contributed

READ: Adani and the Great Artesian Basin water concerns



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