Will the Adani Carmichael Coal mine meet mining industry rehabilitation standards?
The Carmichael coal mine will have a disturbance footprint of 28,000 hectares, permanently altering the landscape, leaving behind extensive waste dumps that are at risk of failing in the long term alongside final voids that are predicted to drain adjoining groundwater permanently.
This research note assesses the proposed rehabilitation strategies for the Adani mine.
The proposed rehabilitation framework for the Adani Carmichael coal mine clearly does not meet mining industry standards and commitments. The key weaknesses of the rehabilitation program against those standards include:
- It does not involve rehabilitation actions ‘across the full lifetime of an operation’ but instead waits 10 years before commencing rehabilitation of spoil dumps and waits 39 years before commencing rehabilitation of voids.
- It does not return mined areas to a ‘pre-existing condition or better’ but instead reduces the land capability categorisation and acknowledges that it has yet to assess future suitability for grazing.
- It does not ‘minimise risk over the life of the operation’ because it is weak on progressiverehabilitation, leaves rehabilitation of dumps and voids until late in the program, and does not implement best practice for managing acid mine waste.
- It does not ‘restore the approximate original contour’ of the land, but instead leaves 6 unfilled voids that are predicted to drain 878ML/annum groundwater permanently.
- It does not ‘minimise disturbances to the hydrologic system’ because it will disturb 88km of streams which it does not intend to restore. The land use capability will be reduced, placing suitability for future productive use at risk.
All of the information contained in this research note describing the proposed rehabilitation of the Adani Carmichael mine is derived from official documents prepared by Adani and consultants on the proposed final landform and rehabilitation strategies. Read the full report here.