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



Judge: 'Ipswich is not the wild west'

Ipswich Police Station and Courthouse. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

Defendant threatened to shoot his partner and her family, court told

Sellout crowd at circus casts doubt over ban

Lennon's Circus lion tamer Mohammed Jratlou with lions Kiara and Kovu.

It was full house for the Saturday afternoon performance

Bali flight chaos: What you need to know today

Tourists are finding themselves caught in Bali, or unable to fly, after a volcanic ash cloud developed over the Indonesian island.

Jetstar was forced to cancel seven flights on Tuesday

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.