WATER DISCHARGE FROM SPRINGVALE MINE
To comply with the 2015 planning consent granted by the NSW Government, Springvale Mine ceased discharge of water (30Ml/d) at LDP9 (Licenced Discharge Point) into the Upper Coxs River on 30 June 2019.
The long industrial history in Lithgow has resulted in a number of environmental legacy issues. One issue in particular is the quality of water discharged from local mines. As new contemporary planning consents extending the life of these mines have been sought, regulators and environmental groups have been successful in securing, in many cases, zero water discharges from mine sites.
Springvale mine is a recent example. In 2015, the NSW Department of Planning approved an extension to the Springvale mine on the condition the quality of water discharged from LDP9 was significantly improved.
In order to meet this condition Centennial and EnergyAustralia sought and secured an approval for a water treatment facility and pipeline to treat water from the mine so it can be used in the cooling systems at Mt Piper Power Station (Mt Piper). This means water from the Springvale mine, which was previously discharged to the Upper Coxs River via LDP9, will now be used by the power station.
With Mt Piper now using water from Springvale the need for them to take water from Fish River has been reduced, which will benefit environmental flows and/or use by local water utilities.
Underpinning over 600 local jobs Springvale mine and Mt Piper are significant contributors to the local economy. Securing a contemporary planning consent in 2015 has enabled Springvale to continue operating and provide coal to Mt Piper. However, the result is Springvale, as of 30 June 2019, will no longer discharge mine water via LDP9 into the Upper Coxs River.