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Falling through the cracks: Adani plan to leave unrehabilitated mine voids exposed

Lock the Gate has called on the Queensland Government to fully review mine rehabilitation conditions for the planned Adani Carmichael Mine, after it was announced that a neighbouring mine, China Stone, is required to fully rehabilitate its site while Adani is not.

The original environmental authority granted for the Carmichael mine in 2016 allows Adani to leave 6 huge, unrehabilitated mine voids, some as deep as 200m and many of which will permanently drain groundwater.

In contrast, late last year the Queensland Coordinator General set conditions requiring the adjoining China Stone coal mine to backfill all mine pits and to rehabilitate all areas to a stable condition capable of sustaining a post-mining land use.

Lock the Gate’s Mine rehabilitation campaign coordinator Rick Humphries said, “The strict conditions recently set on mine rehabilitation for the China Stone project have exposed just how weak the constraints on the neighbouring Adani coal mine are.

“Adani’s plan to leave behind six enormous holes in the ground is a hazardous legacy that is unacceptable in this day and age.  These areas will be sterilised forever - they will be unusable.

“By avoiding rehabilitation, Adani are effectively planning to shift the costs of their smash and grab mining operations onto Queensland taxpayers.  It’s a massive hidden subsidy that leaves us with the mess long after they are gone.” 

Late last year the Queensland Government introduced new laws and standards for mine rehabilitation, and at the timethey said that Adani would be held to the new standards. But the most recent Adani Plan of Operations shows no evidence of improved rehabilitation.

“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to drastically upgrade Adani’s conditions and to force them to properly rehabilitate the entire site, including backfilling all mine voids” Mr Humphries said.

“The Coordinator General has applied new standards to China Stone which put the onus on them to fully rehabilitate and to backfill, and the Queensland Government must now do the same for Adani.

“Anything less than full rehabilitation of the Carmichael coal mine will be a free kick for Adani in the form of a massive, hidden subsidy and a clear competitive advantage over its neighbouring mine.  Adani shouldn’t be given any more special deals,” he said.

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  • Deirdrie Truslove
    commented 2019-02-08 16:57:57 +1100
    How much worse can it get?