News

New reports shows mines ill-equipped to cope with floods

AS PARTS of Central Queensland again face a drenching this week, a new report suggests mines were ill-equipped for the flooding in 2008, 2010 and 2011 that inundated their pits.

Despite the heaviest of the rain falling two wet seasons ago, industry sources believe 250,000 mega litres of water is stagnating in Bowen Basin mines west of Mackay and Rockhampton.

The battering those mines and ports received from the weather also cost Queensland up to $5 billion in lost revenue.

A research team from University of Queensland, led by Dr Vigya Sharma, found the industry unprepared for the onslaught of rains after years of dry conditions.

Her team found there was little shared knowledge inside mining companies due to high staff turnover and suggested the community was nervous about the water being expelled from the mines.

The report found available climate data was inadequate and inaccurate for sites to plan properly.

It was not the first time the industry had been questioned on its planning, with Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche telling APN the research was "on the same page" as the Floods Commission of Inquiry.

He said in dryer times, mines had developed systems to collect water, something that worked against them when faced with flooding rains.

Mr Roche said lessons had been learned from Emerald's flooding in 2008, and from the 2010-11 floods that "emptied some 38 million megalitres of water into the ocean".

He estimated half a percent, or 200,000 megalitres, came from mines.

"Every government, industry and business in Queensland has learned some hard lessons from the floods and resources sector companies are certainly better prepared," he said.

A spokeswoman for Anglo American - which holds six operations in Central Queensland - said walls had now been built to keep pits from flooding.

Pumps, piping, upgrading roads, bridges and crossings were also part of its post-flood reconstruction, along with a $25 million dam to store mine water.

Xstrata's spokesman said he knew of the report and the company was responding appropriately.

He said work was being done to ensure mines were waterproof during the wet and dry seasons.

BHP Billiton, Peabody, Wesfarmers, Ensham and Rio Tinto - five firms representing 18 Queensland coal mines - each declined to comment.

Topics:  flooding mackay mines rockhampton



VIDEO: Truckies farewell driver killed on the job

Dallas Holland was killed on the Logan Mwy on January 10.

Dallas Holland's death rocks industry, sends new safety message

LifeFlight makes eight lifesaving missions across Ipswich

The Toowoomba-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter prepares to airlift a man who was involved in a motorbike accident along the Ipswich Boonah Road in December, 2016.

Every second counts when saving lives, says LifeFlight boss

Mum told to shop around after school supplies rant

GET SORTED: Back to school supplies should not be left to the last minute.

Here's what you said on Facebook

Local Partners

Mine halt after land caved in

JACK OF ALL TRADES: Harry Gee Stationer, News Agent, Picture Framer at North Ipswich.

Subsidence isolated residents

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Ipswich house prices looking up in "seller's market”

Region's median house price climbed 1.4% to $325,000 and the median unit price fell 13.8% to $235,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price climbs 1.4% to $325,000 as unit price falls 13.8%

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Work to be done before Hungry Jack's opens

Roadworks outside the Hungry Jack's restaurant at Brassall must be completed before it opens.

Ipswich residents will have to wait for their Whoppers

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!