Coal

REY RESOURCES “DUCHESS PARADISE” COAL MINE PROPOSAL

Submissions to the EPA on Rey’s Environment Plan closed on 22nd April 2014.

What can you do now? Write to the local Member of Parliament Ken Baston at ken.baston@mp.wa.gov.au.

See EK’s submission guide here for more details on the proposal.

Links to our information sheets:

The Proposal

Rey Resources want to build the first coal mine in the Kimberley, 5km from the Fitzroy River.

The proposed mine is on Liveringa Station, 175km south-east from Derby. The site is 5 km from the Fitzroy River and is close to Camballin Barrage, Uralla (Snake) Creek and Mt Wynne Creek.

Duchess_Paradise2_sm

Location of proposed mine site Photo: Kimberley Media

So What’s Proposed?

Rey Resources estimate that there is around 540 million tonnes (Mt) of thermal coal in two sections, P1 (upper section) and P2 (lower section). Rey believes that 140 Mt of this can be mined. The proposal for the Duchess Paradise project is to use techniques called slot-highwall mining (for the shallower coal) and undergrounding mining (for the deeper coal).

The company is proposing to mine coal at an average of 2 million tonnes per annum (2Mta), and up to 2.5 Mtpa at the peak production rate. They estimate in their Public Environmental Review (PER) document that 70Mt of the coal could be mined using these methods, suggesting that open cut mining would be required to get to the rest. The industry estimates that there could be billions of tonnes of coal in the area.

The project includes the coal mine, a coal handling and preparation plan (CHPP), and associated infrastructure – including stockpile pads, temporary surface storage for rejects, water storage dams and surface water management structures, power plants, service buildings, camp, borefield, borrow areas, fuel storage, internal roads, mine access road including intersection works and an airstrip.

Their plan is to transport coal to Derby on road trains, and export out of the existing port. Coal would be stockpiled and loaded onto barges, barged out into the bay and transferred to coal ships anchored within King Sound.

Potential impacts and risks

There are a number of potential risks around the project, including:

  • Acid, heavy metals and other chemicals could end up in the river or groundwater from waste material
  • Storage ponds holding contaminated water could overflow in the Wet into the river, as has happened in Queensland
  • Water use – 1.5 billion litres of groundwater per year (4.1 million litres per day) would be used in mining operations
  • All the unknowns – scientists don’t know enough about the river and groundwater systems to be able to say what effects all this would have
  • Road transport - with the mine in full production, there would be
    144 x 100 tonne road train movements a day between the mine site and Derby–
    that’s one truck every 10 minutes, 24/7.
  • Marine transport – loading the coal onto barges at the Derby Port and
    then onto ships risks pollution entering King Sound from spills or coaldust
  • Climate – We can’t afford to keep digging up and burning dirty coal. Burning the coal from this mining project alone will let out 220 million tonnes of CO2.

The Kimberley’s First Coal Province?

If the mine goes ahead, it could be the first of many coal mines

2 million tonnes of coal would be dug up each year for 20 years from Duchess Paradise mine alone. The coal industry believes there could be billions of tonnes of coal under the Fitzroy River catchment. Rey Resources has plans for many more open-cut mines in the catchment, turning the area into a coal province.

Regional Coal Potential_with river

Regional coal potential, Rey Resources

Environmental approvals process – timeline

Rey Resources is asking the WA Government for environmental approval for its project. The company’s Public Environmental Review of its coalmining proposal is open for comment until 22nd April (Easter time). After a decision is made by the EPA, it will be open to appeal.

 

HOW TO ACT

Write to the local Member of Parliament Ken Baston at ken.baston@mp.wa.gov.au.

See EK’s submission guide.

To get in touch with us about the project or if you want more information, please email info@environskimberley.org.au or call us on (08) 9192 1922.