Adani calls out anti-mining activists on false water claims
23 November 2018
Adani is calling out an activist group for spreading distortions and lies about the Carmichael mine and rail project in central Queensland. Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said the group, Farmers for Climate Action, had to be called to account for the some of their claims related to water. “Adani does not have an unlimited right to water. To say so is to distort and mislead,” Mr Dow said. “The truth is that groundwater will be extracted from in and around the mine to ensure safe mining. According to modelling done by the State Government, the maximum that could be extracted is 4550 megalitres and that would be with the mine producing 60 million tonnes of coal each year. “As the State Government has repeatedly said that is about the same amount used each year by a 450 hectare cane farm in the Lower Burdekin. “In fact, we are planning to build a much smaller open cut mine that will ramp up gradually to 27.5 million tonnes per annum, so the amount of groundwater that will be extracted will be much less than originally modelled.” There are more than 270 conditions within the mine approvals to protect the natural environment and 100 of those relate to groundwater. “We can only pump out water from in and around the open cut mine so ground water does not seep into the mine and make it unsafe,” Mr Dow said. He said the leaders of the Farmers for Climate Action lived nowhere near the Carmichael project. One lives on the Sunshine Coast, another at Longreach. However, the landholders who do live near the Carmichael project have agreements in place with Adani. Further myths are being created about the Doongmabulla Springs, which are 11km away from the intended mining operations. The water source of the springs is geologically separated from the water associated with mining and these facts formed part of the evidence used in Land Court hearings. The Land Court reaffirmed that the source of springs is protected by a 250 metre to 300 metre layer of impervious claystone. To protect the springs and the wildlife that uses them, the conditions state that water level cannot drop more than 20cm and a network of water monitoring bores will be established to observe and protect underground water levels. There are also early warning triggers if there are unforeseen impacts and Adani will be reporting to state and federal governments on the underground water levels and water management activities. “The springs are 11km away from the mining operation and their source is geologically separated from the project by a layer of claystone,” Mr Dow said. “The Land Court reaffirmed that this geology would be effective in protecting the springs from mining activity.’’ There has also been years of investigation of the Carmichael project by the courts and Adani has invested in six years of scientific environmental assessments. The Government has also stated that the water licence, which allows Adani to purchase water from the Suttor River and pump it into a dam for storage when the river is in flood, “provides the mine a volume of water about 1% of the volumes that are available to use in the Burdekin catchment now’’.* “When it comes to surface water in the Suttor River, Adani is at the back of the queue and cannot take any water until farmer’s needs have been met. Even then, Adani can only take water from the river when it is in flood and has a limit of 12.5GL a year,” Mr Dow said. *Ministerial statement, April 6, 2017 Anthony Lynham. (ENDS) Download PDF...