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Hume Coal to manage groundwater according to NSW’s AIP

Published by
World Coal,

With the release of the Hume Coal environmental impact statement, the groundwater assessment has found that all impacts can be managed through the NSW government’s Aquifer Interference Policy under its ‘make good’ arrangements.

Greig Duncan, Hume Coal Project Director, stated that no landholder will not be left without access to water as they will be eligible for ‘make good’ arrangements, to be undertaken and funded by Hume Coal before any impacts are felt.

Of the 93 bores identified in the water assessment, “around a third of the affected bores will experience increased pumping costs and no other capital works or supplementary measures are required.”

“Another third of the bores have been assessed as potentially needing their submersible pump repositioned,” he continued.

“The final third may require redrilling, or repositioning to maintain water supply; typically these bores are either shallow, or screened in, or below the coal seam itself, or within close proximity to the top of the target coal seam.”

Access to groundwater has always been a key consideration in the development of the Hume Coal project, and the design team have achieved a mining system which protects landowners’ rights to access groundwater – before, during and after mining, according to Duncan.

Duncan acknowledged that Hume Coal will use groundwater throughout its operations however unlike other uses “Hume Coal will licence not only the water which is extracted for use, but also any volume of water which flows into the mined-out voids.”

Hume Coal’s groundwater take in accordance with the AIP is predicted to peak in approximately year 15 of the mining operation at approximately 2.3 gigalitres (GL).  Of this amount, approximately only 1 GL will be extracted from the mine, with the remaining volume staying in the ground.

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