PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating a number of wall dam collapses following heavy rains in the Hunter Valley region last week.
Reports emerged this week that mining giant Rio Tinto’s Bengalla coal mine had reported an overflow, but no dam wall failure.
The latest spill followed a dam wall collapse at US major Peabody Energy’s Wambo coal mine, which resulted in the discharge of sediment laden rainwater.
EPA officials were on site early last week to carry out an inspection and to interview mine personnel, while samples were also taken for testing.
Two days later, the EPA announced that it was investigating the collapse of part of a sedimentation dam wall at Rio’s Warkworth mine, also in the Hunter Valley.
While Rio had undertaken work to contain the sediment laden water, the EPA noted that photographs provided to the EPA suggested that sediment laden water was continuing to leave the site, and that a quantity of the sediment from the original incident was yet to be cleared up.
The EPA has requested additional information from Rio, and would conduct site inspections to assess the impact of the spill.