Coal Mines Australia Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of BHP Billiton) was seeking consent to develop the Caroona Coal Project, a proposed underground coal mine. On 11 August 2016 the progression of this project was ceased and the exploration licence was cancelled by the NSW Government. However, as per companion submethodology M04 (as listed in Table 1) for developing a CRDP () once the is determined, it is not changed for purposes, even in cases such as this, where BHP Billiton have discontinued the progression of the project.
The information in this section has been derived fromunless otherwise stated. The development application includes proposed longwall mining on Doona Ridge and Nicholas Ridge, both of which will target the Hoskissons Coal. Within the Caroona Coal Project underground mining area, the Hoskissons Coal is 8 to 16 m thick and has a depth of cover between 130 and 710 m. Cover depth is shallowest in the north and the east of the mining areas, with depth increasing to the south-west ( ).
It is estimated that the Caroona Coal Project will produce up to 260 Mt of ROM coal over the life of the development and up to 10 Mt/year of saleable coal. The mine life is expected to be approximately 30 years. During the operation 67 longwall panels will be constructed either side of the Mooki River alluvial plain.
At the time of writing, no information was publicly available on the predicted volume of water that will be required to operate the mine site.
Little information is currently available on the proposedmanagement infrastructure for the proposed mine. A site water balance will be developed for the project and this would inform the development of the water management strategy, which would incorporate the following:
- separation of undisturbed area from disturbed area runoff
- collection and reuse of surface runoff from disturbed areas
- capture of and reuse
- storage of water on-site
- licensed water to supplement water supply
- consideration of flood impacts on surface infrastructure, and
- treatment and beneficial use or licensed controlled release of excess water.
The project area drains to the Mooki River and Quirindi Creek through a number of ephemeral drainage lines from the ridgelines. The Mooki River flows south between Doona Ridge and Nicholas Ridge. Quirindi Creek flows east to west, with its confluence with the Mooki River in the centre of the exploration area. Runoff from the western side of Doona Ridge flows towards the Yarraman Creek alluvial plain.
Approximately 2103 ha of protocol verified Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land () within the project area is predicted to have subsidence impacts. The predicted total maximum varies between 1.6 and 3.1 m. Typical surface cracking widths vary between 10 to 100 mm depending on depth of cover ( ).
BHP Billiton note the following Water Access Licences that are available for the Project:
- Upper Namoi Alluvium – zone 8 groundwater source)
- Gunnedah-Oxley Basin MDB [Other] groundwater source).
The predicted annual groundwater Table 24.volumes for the sources impacted are summarised in
Table 24 Predicted volumetric impacts to groundwater sources from Caroona Coal Project
Data:, p. 120)
The project is estimated to induce a loss of baseflow to the Mooki River of up to 256 ML/year (0.7 ML/day), and potentially contribute to aof 329 ML/year (0.9 ML/day) when the impacts of the Watermark Project are considered ( ). The impacts are predicted to occur primarily between Caroona and Breeza. This impact to baseflow represents a significant impact to the low-flow rates in the Mooki River at Breeza ( , p. 98).
Product Finalisation date
- 2.1.1 Geography
- 2.1.2 Geology
- 2.1.3 Hydrogeology and groundwater quality
- 2.1.4 Surface water hydrology and water quality
- 2.1.5 Surface water – groundwater interactions
- 22.214.171.124 Observed data
- 126.96.36.199 Previous catchment-scale investigations on stream-aquifer interactions
- 188.8.131.52 Overview of controls on surface water – groundwater connectivity based on previous investigations in the Namoi river basin
- 184.108.40.206 Statistical analysis and interpolation
- 220.127.116.11 Gaps
- 2.1.6 Water management for coal resource developments
- 18.104.22.168 Boggabri Coal Mine (baseline) and Boggabri Coal Expansion Project (ACRD)
- 22.214.171.124 Narrabri North Mine (baseline)
- 126.96.36.199 Narrabri South Project (ACRD)
- 188.8.131.52 Rocglen Mine (baseline)
- 184.108.40.206 Sunnyside Mine (baseline)
- 220.127.116.11 Tarrawonga Mine (baseline) and Tarrawonga Coal Expansion Project (ACRD)
- 18.104.22.168 Caroona Coal Project (ACRD)
- 22.214.171.124 Maules Creek Project (ACRD)
- 126.96.36.199 Watermark Coal Project (ACRD)
- 188.8.131.52 Vickery Coal Project (ACRD)
- 184.108.40.206 Narrabri Gas Project (ACRD)
- 220.127.116.11 Mine footprints
- Currency of scientific results
- Contributors to the Technical Programme
- About this technical product