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Project: Sibelco Cressfield Water Discharge Assessment

Client: Sibelco Australia Ltd

Location: Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

Services Provided: Water quality assessment

Project Details:
Sibelco owns and operates the Cressfield Bentonite Mine, in the upper Hunter Valley of NSW at Cressfield.  The mine is a relatively small scale operation comprising conventional open cut extraction, overburden and product stockpiles, drying pads, product storage sheds, office, amenities and haul roads.  It operates under the conditions of a mining lease, an environment protection license (EPL) and approval from Upper Hunter Shire Council.  Sibelco recently sought approval to vary their EPL through addition of a water discharge point to nearby Middle Brook, to permit dewatering of two dams and the mine void.  To support the application, KMH were engaged to undertake a water quality investigation and discharge assessment, and prepare documentation in support of the license variation application.  As part of this assessment KMH undertook a rigorous review of water quality in the mine and receiving environment, considered catchment flows and discharge volumes, assessed water quality with respect to ANZECC (2000) Guidelines and baseline flows, and developed appropriate discharge criteria.  Contingency measures and management controls were also recommended to help ensure adverse.