Queensland Floods Heighten Crisis Around Toxic Mine Water

Photo retrieved from: www.abc.net.au

“According to the Resources Council, those releases will probably negate the most recent rainfall, but won’t reduce the legacy water. Going into this summer’s wet season, it was estimated there was the equivalent of half Sydney Harbour’s worth of so-called legacy water, which has accumulated in mine pits, especially in the northern Bowen Basin region, since 2008.

There’s also an uncontrolled release of water from one of the most toxic disused mines in Queensland—Mount Morgan. The former gold mine, 40km south of Rockhampton, is situated on the Dee River. It closed in 1981 and is being managed by the Queensland government. Michael McCabe, the coordinator of the Capricorn Conservation Council says it contains highly acidic water.

‘Well, some have compared the acidity of that water to close to battery acid,’ Mr McCabe said.

About 700 mm of rain has fallen over the Mount Morgan mine site since last Wednesday. As a result, the water level in the mine’s open cut pit has been overflowing since Saturday morning, at a rate of about 60 megalitres a day. The state government says strong natural flows in the Dee River have achieved significant dilution of untreated water entering the river, minimising potential downstream impacts.”

Read more: ABC Radio National

 

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