Whitehaven mine’s groundwater use is reportedly under investigation again by the NSW State water regulator following a range of complaints from local farmers and the Environmental Defenders Office. The NSW Resource Access Regulator has confirmed that an investigation has been initiated into Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine use of groundwater and that it has received evidence to support further investigation of the matter.
Whitehaven has rejected the claims made by local farmers saying “There is no credible hydrogeological evidence indicating that bore drawdowns in the Maules Creek area are the result of anything other than the combination of lack of rainfall and inadequate aquifer recharge for some bores,” a company spokesperson said.
“The severity of the drought is putting pressure on all local water users including farms, towns and the mining sector.
“To suggest Whitehaven is immune from or is somehow responsible for these conditions is nonsensical.” the miner said.
Whitehaven has recently been under investigation over water usage with a recently released briefing note (below) to the Minister allegedly indicating that the mine has taken surface water unlawfully through reliance on inapplicable water licensing exemptions.
- Whitehaven mine in safety spotlight again
- Narrabri Coal License suspended over unauthorised tracks
- Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Mauling by NSW Regulator
A Statement from Whitehaven Coal reads “Whitehaven has annual water allocations of just under 10,000ML from a range of licensed ground and surface water sources, as outlined in regional water sharing plans. In FY19, we used just under 70% of our allocation from a combination of these sources”
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