Here are answers to some of the common questions raised during our consultation with the community and the consultation carried out as part of the Social Impact Assessment. Please click on the question to reveal the answer.

What specific studies were undertaken for the EIS?

From mid-2010, GRL commissioned specialist consultancies to undertake investigations in the fields of surface water, groundwater, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, cultural and European heritage, noise and blasting, air quality, visibility, soils and land /agricultural capability, socio-economic matters, traffic and transport and geochemistry. A meteorological station was also installed. These specialists, who commenced with baseline assessments to understand the existing environment, then identified and quantified any potential negative impacts from the Rocky Hill Coal Project, with the outcomes used to assess the need for Project refinement and/or the development of measures to minimize those impacts. The outcomes of these studies, including the positive impacts, have been presented in the EIS submitted for consideration by Government and open for public comment.

Are GRL and Gloucester Coal the same company?

No. The two companies are unrelated.

Will GRL retain their water/wastewater and have no discharge, like Gloucester Coal?

As part of the detailed investigations undertaken for the amended EIS, GRL consultants proposed a conservative water balance. This examined inputs and outputs including rainfall and evaporation; catchment runoff and collection; surface and groundwater inflows to the open outs and water demand for dust appearance.

The water balance revealed that as of year 4 of mining, water inputs would exceed water use and storage capacity within the Mine Area and therefore a water treatment plant would be required.

Water from the treatment plan, which will be of equal or better quality than that in the Avon River, will be used to irrigate rehabilitated land within the Mine Area and GRL’s adjacent agricultural land.

Why is GRL planting trees on its land before the mine has been approved?

Since 2012 GRL has planted some 10,000 trees and shrubs, which occur naturally in the area, on its properties. The plantings were undertaken to provide some screening towards the area of the planned mine and, in the longer term, create fauna corridors and refuges in areas that have been cleared in the past.

Does the environmental impact assessment for this mine look at cumulative impacts of all mining or just the impacts from this mine?

The amended EIS addresses cumulative impacts as well as those from the Rocky Hill Coal Project. The cumulative assessments, though concentrating on those from the Project and the approved Stratford Extension Project, extend to other activities where appropriate. With AGL announcing it has abandoned the Gloucester Gas Project, assessment of the cumulative impacts of that project on aspects such as groundwater, surface water, noise and air quality was no longer be required.

What level of monitoring will occur for dust?

Since 2010/11 GRL has been operating a network of 7 dust deposition gauges, 2 high volume samplers which collect PM10 data for a 24 hour period on a 6 day rotational cycle, and 2 TEOMs which continuously monitor PM10 and PM2.5 particles in the air. PM10 and PM2.5 particles are particles which are less than 10 microns and 2.5 microns in diameter, a micron being 1 thousandth of a millimetre. The monitors have been positioned to assess existing local air quality and reflect the prevailing wind conditions.

Additional monitoring stations will be installed to verify compliance with the relevant criteria during the life of the mine.

What will be done to screen mining activity from residences and minimise impacts on views of the valley?

From the outset, GRL has recognised that the picturesque nature of the Gloucester valley is one of the attributes which attract residents and tourists to the area. In addition to the screen plantings on GRL-owned land, the mine design includes a series of vegetated amenity barriers which will be constructed to obscure mining operations from local residences and public vantage points and tourist routes such as The Bucketts Way. These amenity barriers will also provide noise shielding. GRL has engaged a consultant who specialises in visual matters to assist in the development of measures to minimise any potential impacts. A 3D fly-over showing the amended Project’s development has enabled GRL and the public to visualise the development and the effectiveness of these measures.

What happens in 20 years? What plans are in place to re-establish the land and grazing?

Throughout the life of the mine, areas disturbed will be progressively reshaped to create a landform comprising ridges, hills and valleys which is similar to that currently present; the subsoil and topsoil will be replaced and the area revegetated to a mixture of open woodland and pasture which will enable its use once again for grazing and/or passive nature conservation. Native vegetation corridors will also be established to provide linkages between existing areas of remnant vegetation in the Mograni Range and along Waukivory and Oaky Creeks. Reintroduction of grazing will not wait until the end of the mine’s life but commence once the post-mining vegetation has established sufficiently that grazing can be undertaken in a sustainable manner. Temporary rehabilitation of areas that will be re-disturbed will also be undertaken.

Will there be jobs for locals?

It is GRL’s preference to employ local people on the Rocky Hill Coal Project, both people with experience and those without mining or similar skills who wish to be trained or up-skilled. GRL will also actively encourage any persons employed from outside the area to relocate to so they can contribute economically and socially to the town.

Will there be mining on the river flats?

No. No mining will be undertaken on the river flats and mining–related activity or infrastructure will be confined to areas above the 1 in 100 year flood level or designed to have minimal impact on flood flows or behaviour

 

Do you have another question you want answered? Please contact us.