Australian news, and some related international items

The enormous problem of Adani’s mine rehabilitation plans

‘Monumental experiment’: Concerns raised over Adani’s mine rehab plans, Brisbane Times, Peter Hannam , 15 May 17  Mine rehabilitation plans for the proposed giant Carmichael coal mine in Queensland fall far short of best practice and will expose the environment and taxpayers to huge risks, according to anti-mine group Lock the Gate.

On its submitted plans, the $16 billion-plus mine would disturb some 280 square kilometres of land, with 1.85 billion tonnes of potentially acid-forming material unearthed, and six giant voids left unfilled, Lock the Gate said in a new report. Some 88 kilometres of streams would also be disrupted and not restored.

“This is a monumental experiment on altering a landscape to a scale we’ve never seen before and believing a company that is saying already it doesn’t think it can put it back to remotely close to what was there before,” said Rick Humphries, co-ordinator of the group’s mine rehabilitation reform campaign.

“We are asking them to be shifted from a low-end, minimalist cheapest [rehab] option to leading practice,” said Mr Humphries, an environmental scientist who previously helped Rio Tinto develop their rehab plans.

The federal and state governments are backing the giant mine, which could produce as much as 60 million tonnes of coal for export a year. Carmichael’s development could also help open up other coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

A report last week by the NSW Auditor-General found that state’s mine rehabilitation guarantees held by the government to be inadequate and requirements for restoring land after a mine’s closure to be vague. The state’s rules, though, were superior to those in Queensland and Victoria, it said…….

According to Lock the Gate, Adani wouldn’t have to begin rehabilitation work until 39 years into its operations, well shy of the “continuous” rehab work that is considered best practice.

Adani may be offered as much as $1 billion in loans from the federal government to help build the rail link from the mine to the coast. Its board still aims to give its final investment decision in the next few weeks, the spokesman said.

Financial closure would then be sought by the end of the year, and pre-construction works starting by the September quarter, he said.


May 15, 2017 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland

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