Adani fights back over 'false' environmental claims
ENVIRONMENTALISTS have accused Adani of conducting unapproved illegal works on their proposed mine site, but the mining company has hit back to set the record straight.
The ABC released a report today quoting evidence gathered by environmental group Coast and Country which they claim showed illegal works at the site of Adani's controversial Carmichael coal mine project.
Coast and County's Derec Davies said the evidence they collected via on ground inspections, high resolution satellite and aerial imagery proved that Adani has committed offences under both Queensland and Commonwealth law.
"Adani has started work on the Carmichael coal mine earlier than permitted, breaching its Environmental Authority before important water plans have been approved." Mr Davies said.
Mr Davies claimed Adani has sunk six de-watering bores (used to depressurise the coal seam and to lower groundwater levels for open cut and underground operations), has drilled into Great Artesian Basin aquifers and put at risk groundwater at a time when half the country's in drought.
"This high impact work creates serious risks for Queensland's groundwater, the ancient Doongmabulla and Yukanna Kumoo springs complexes, and the species that rely on the springs," he said.
Adani's media spokesperson vehemently denied the ABC and environmentalist's claims that they were in breach, providing the "correct facts" regarding the situation.
"We welcome any investigation from the regulator, which will demonstrate we have conducted Stage 1 project activities permitted under Adani Mining's Environmental Authority for the Carmichael Mine Project," the Adani spokesperson said.
"Adani Mining has constructed five bores on the Carmichael mine site for the purpose of conducting groundwater investigations and taking geological samples as permitted under its Environmental Authority for the mine which was issued in April 2016.
"We notified the regulator of our Plan of Operations for these Stage 1 project activities in 2017.
"Once stage 2 project operations are approved to commence, Adani Mining may then use some of these bores as part of the industry standard dewatering process for mining operations.
"There is no impact to groundwater dependent ecosystems associated with these Stage 1 activities.
"Adani Mining is not dewatering fro mining operations. Drilling has been undertaken at the Carmichael site to take geological samples and monitor underground water levels and we have sent the regular reports on these bores which are publicly available online."
The Queensland Environment Department confirmed the bores were recently drilled, were not in place at the time of a recent site inspection and they were now investigating the location and purpose of these bores.
Adani said the Environmental Authority permits 'Project stage 1' activities to be carried out prior to the commencement of significant ground disturbance which included:
a) Pre-construction surveying and technical assessment including geotechnical, establishment of site security arrangements (including signs, fences, safety barriers, and temporary security personnel facilities) and maintenance of existing roads and tracks;
b) Installation of facilities for the purpose of environmental monitoring compliance; and
c) Other works limited to the existing site facilities and access roads.
The Carmichael Mine Environmental Authority can be accessed here: https://environment.ehp.qld.gov.au/env-authorities/
Reports on Adani Mining's groundwater monitoring bores: