Anvil Hill bashing continues

CENTENNIAL Coal has again defended its proposed Anvil Hill coal mine in New South Wales after Greens MP Lee Rhiannon yesterday claimed the mine would be “a water and climate disaster”.

Staff Reporter

The proposed opencut mine will produce up to 10.5 million tonnes of coal per annum for 21 years and, subject to approvals, remains on target to commence in 2008.

Rhiannon said Centennial was part of a mining industry “which exploits the weak NSW planning and environment laws to ignore the dangers of climate change and water shortages”

“Each year this mine would use a massive 400 megalitres of Hunter River water at the expense of agriculture and the local economy,” she said.

But Centennial said today that Anvil Hill has adequate water licences available for planned future consumption, and already has sufficient water allocation licences to satisfy the project’s estimated consumption of 400ML per annum.

“To put the mine’s water needs into context, it is estimated that the mine requires approximately the same amount of water as an average vineyard or horse stud,” the company said.

Considering the current water shortages and the nearby waterways, water usage was a major focus during the environmental assessment and planning process for the project, which will use sophisticated water capture and recycling systems as part of the mine’s design.

“The proposed Anvil Hill Mine has been subject to arguably the most rigorous environmental assessment process and has cleared every scientific, environmental and technical hurdle (including water management and usage),” the company said.

After posting dismal results over recent months, Centennial has repeatedly cited Anvil Hill as a “lower risk” turnaround project, which will produce at least one-third of the company’s longer-term output.