Aerial of Alpha Coal Project Test (12073).
Aerial of Alpha Coal Project Test (12073). Patrick Hamilton

Objections to the Alpha mine to be lodged by landholders

CENTRAL Queensland landholders will this week lodge objections to the Alpha mine, the first of a string of nine 'mega mines' proposed for the Galilee Basin in Western Central Queensland.

Ellie Smith, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance, said a number of landholders had indicated that they would be objecting to the mine.

"Understandably their biggest anxiety is the fate of future water supply. The groundwater modeling undertaken by GVK/Hancock is insufficient. Locals know groundwater fluctuates within and between seasons. To establish credible baseline data entails years of monitoring levels and testing for quality." Ms Smith said.

The Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Developments shares these concerns, its recommendations to the Federal Government, released after the approval include:

·       further details of the measured hydrogeological data, and groundwater model parameters, uncertainties, confidence and transparency

·       A regional cumulative impact assessment should be undertaken as a matter of priority.

It states: "Given the pending development scenarios, the committee advises that the cumulative surface and groundwater impacts in the region have not been assessed. Based on the limited information presented, in particular, on cumulative impacts, the committee has considerable concerns relating to the scale and extent of impacts associated with the project."

"With nine mega mines proposed for the region it is vitally important that full cumulative impact assessments are completed. It's absurd to enter into projects of this extent with such scant knowledge," Ms Smith said.

Objections to the Alpha mine are due on Wednesday, February 20, and will be heard in the land court in March 2013.

 

The Alpha mine project:

The Alpha Coal Project will be a 30 Mtpa open-cut coal mine, with the potential for the future development of significant underground reserves.

The open-cut operation has an expected mine life of 30 plus years, with sufficient Joint Ore Resources Committee (JORC) compliant resources to extend the project life well beyond 30 years.

The Alpha Coal and Kevin's Corner combined resource is 7.9 billion tonnes of JORC compliant thermal coal.