Excellence in Environmental Management Finalist: Springvale Coal

Springvale Coal is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its Water Transfer Scheme.

Springvale Coal is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its Water Transfer Scheme.

The mine has historically pumped up to 20 mega litres per day via the pit dewatering system through licensed discharge points into the Wolgan Tributaries.

It was seen that the discharge of the water into the Wolgan tributaries was causing unnatural water flows on the Newnes Plateau and Wollemi National Park. In 2002, Springvale Mine entered into a pollution reduction program with the EPA.

A study was conducted with 12 different options being evaluated. The decision was made to cease discharge into the Wolgan tributaries and redirect the water to the Cox’s river system for use by the power stations.

Consultation was held with the Gundungurra Tribal Council and the Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council and the proposal was approved under the Pipelines Act.

Before commencing work on the project, the mine ensured that there were no environmental issues before, during or after the installation of the Pipeline network.

The Water Transfer Scheme provides the Cox river system with an increased ability to maintain the water flow and levels in Lake Wallace and Lake Lyell. These lakes are used by Lithgow and surrounding communities for recreational activities such as camping, fishing, boating and water skiing. (These activities have been ceased in the past due to low water levels).

The scheme also provides Springvale Mine with more control over its ability to discharge mine water which is directly linked to the safety of the mine and its employees.

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