Coal Age

APR 2019

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4 April 2019 leading developments Australia Government Approves Groundwater Plan for Carmichael Mine The Australia Department of the En- vironment and Energy has given ap- proval of the groundwater manage- ment plans for the Carmichael coal mine and rail infrastructure project in Central Queensland, Australia. This follows more than 18 months of con- sultation with the department, and an independent review by the Com- monwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Geoscience Australia. Adani Mining's proposed Carmi- chael mine, a large surface mine, will be constructed in Queensland's North Galilee Basin roughly 300 kilometers (km) from the coast and approximate- ly 160 km northwest of Clermont. It will be one of 125 coal mines in Austra- lia and, during the its initial stage, will ramp up to 27.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy). Its product, thermal coal, will be exported through Abbot Point Port via a 200-km rail line. Since the project was announced, it has been fighting an uphill battle with per- mitting and environmental activists. The company's recent Ground- water Dependent Ecosystems Man- agement Plan and the Groundwater Management and Monitoring Plan details all the activities the company will undertake and safeguards it will implement to ensure it meets the ap- proval conditions for the mine relat- ing to groundwater, according to CEO Lucas Dow. This includes a network of more than 100 monitoring boreholes to track underground water levels. "The plans will ensure we achieve sustainable environmental outcomes and we're now looking forward to delivering the thousands of jobs our project will create for people in north and central Queensland," Dow said. "Both CSIRO and Geoscience Austra- lia have confirmed the revised plans meet strict scientific requirements." Dow said the Queensland Gov- ernment has continued to shift the goal posts when finalizing the envi- ronmental management plans for the mine. "Queensland Minister for the Environment Leanne Enoch has stated she will not interfere in the 'independent regulator's' decision on our outstanding environmental man- agement plans, while hinting that the approvals will take time and refusing to accept that independent scientific assessments already completed are adequate," Dow said. He added that the company ex- pects the state's final assessments to take a fraction of the six weeks it took the federal government to finalize the groundwater approvals. "The state government has all the information it needs to finalize these plans, including the rigorous scientific assessment by independent scientific bodies CSIRO and Geoscience Austra- lia," Dow said. "The state government's process for approval of the outstand- ing Black-throated Finch Management Plan and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan should be efficient and timely, just as they are for other Queensland projects." The Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan is one of two outstanding management plans that require approval from the Queensland Government. The other is the Black-throated Finch Manage- ment Plan. These are the last remain- ing approvals needed to begin con- struction of the Carmichael mine. MEC to Purchase Mission Assets in US Murray Energy Corp. (MEC) was se- lected as the successful bidder to acquire the Oak Grove, Seminole Al- abama and Maple Eagle Mining com- plexes, located in Alabama and West Virginia, from Mission Coal Co. LLC, through the Mission bankruptcy pro- ceedings. Mission accepted Murray Energy's bid and filed notice with the bankruptcy court on March 27. MEC has formed a new, majori- ty-owned subsidiary company, Murray Metallurgical Holdings LLC, to acquire and operate the Mission assets, with its existing joint venture partner, Javelin Global Commodities (UK) Ltd., as the minority owner of the subsidiary. Adani Mining will install more than 100 monitoring wells surrounding the Carmichael project.

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