AGE have had a long standing relationship with U&D Mining (Australia) Pty Ltd and on the Meteor Downs South Project since 2012. Our initial work on the central Queensland project involved a review of an existing groundwater impact assessment for the proposed open-cut coal mine. We undertook a gap analysis of the report and highlighted to the client a significant risk in the approvals process relating to groundwater. We were then commissioned by U&D to assist with the development of robust groundwater assessment with the intent to specifically address the key risks in gaining approval for a mining lease. In order to do this, AGE successfully negotiated the use of an existing numerical groundwater model for a nearby project which covered the same area. The numerical model was modified to include the Meteor Downs South Project and to explore potential groundwater impacts.
Conditional approval of the mining lease was granted. To support the make good agreement with a nearby stakeholder, AGE were engaged to carry out field investigations including the design, installation and testing of a groundwater monitoring network to validate the numerical model predictions and assumptions. This work resulted in the successful negotiation of the make good agreement between our client and the external stakeholder.
Separate to this work, AGE managed the baseline data collection for the site. Routine monthly groundwater monitoring was carried out over a 12 month period with the objective to finalise the draft Environmental Authority conditions relating to the development of groundwater trigger levels. The baseline data collection and trigger levels were also used to support the formulation of a Groundwater Monitoring and Management Plan to satisfy state and federal approval conditions. AGE provided further assistance in liaising with the state and commonwealth to ensure approval of the document.
Our work for U&D has continued through the approval process and we have recently been engaged to assist in securing a groundwater supply for construction purposes and early stages of mine development.