Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine proposal would poison Sydney’s drinking water

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Nature Conservation Council of NSW
Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Lithgow Environment Group


Centennial Coal has resolved to push ahead with a massive proposed expansion of the Springvale longwall mine project that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says would directly discharge 30Ml/day of high salinity mine water into the Coxs River.

Nature Conservation Council Campaigns Director Daisy Barham said the company’s proposal is a significant risk to the health of the Coxs River and ignores the objections of the EPA.

“Centennial Coal plans to pump up to 30 million litres of contaminated water a day into the Coxs River headwaters that then flow into Lake Burragorang, Sydney’s main water supply. Under the current proposal, the mine water would be released into the river despite a request by the EPA to either cease discharging or treat the mine water.”

Mr Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said that the Coxs River needs to be cleaned up because it is an important source of drinking water.

“The mine would dump 7,500 to 13,000 tonnes per annum of salt that the EPA describes as extremely large for a freshwater system,” said Mr Muir.

Mr Muir said “Centennial can’t expect the Planning Assessment Commission to approve a mine proposal when Centennial has made no effort to clean up its water pollution. Sydney’s drinking water must take priority over coal production and economic considerations.”

Ms Tara Cameron, Senior Vice President of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, said the Springvale projects needs to work within community expectations.

“Our Society has modified and prevented damaging proposals in the Land and Environment Court and the Planning Assessment Commission. This miner has refused the EPA’s reasonable requests to clean up, and it should not be allowed to pollute our drinking water”, Ms Cameron said.

Chris Jonkers, Vice President of the Lithgow Environment Group said: “Miners should not hide their environmentally damaging proposals behind the State Environmental Planning Policy that requires economics to be the principal consideration. The EPA says that the pollution of the Coxs River by the proposed Springvale mine expansion is unacceptable.

“The mine proposal should be refused development consent as the toxicity and volume of the proposed mine discharge would kill most aquatic life in the Coxs River.”

The proposed Springvale Mine was today referred to the Planning Assessment Commission, Thursday, April 30.


Nature Conservation Council                  Media Officer               James Tremain                    0419 272 254
Colong Foundation for Wilderness          Director                        Keith Muir                            0412 791 404
Blue Mountains Conservation Society    Senior Vice President
   Tara Cameron                      0419 824 974
Lithgow Environment Group                   Vice President
             Chris Jonkers                       6355 1179



Submission by the EPA on the Springvale Mine proposal


Springvale Colliery EIS: