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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Bickham Coal Company (BCC) questions and answers section. We hope you find them helpful and informative. If you don't find the answer to your question below please send your query via our contact page.

Will an open cut coal mine go ahead at South Bickham?
Not necessarily. There are a number of social, economic and environmental factors that need to be assessed by the NSW Government to confirm that a mine is sustainable in the area before a coal mine goes ahead. The ultimate decision on the proposed mine will be made by the Minister for Planning.

If approved, how long will it be before an open cut coal mine is fully operational at Bickham?
If a mine at Bickham is approved in June 2007, it is estimated that it will not be until mid 2008 that coal can be exported.

What about the Pages River and groundwater? How will fragile ecosystems be protected from your mine?
BCC is undertaking two comprehensive studies on water issues which are essential to identify any potential impacts. A Water Resource Assessment and Water Management Plan will be carried out to determine what effects an open cut coal mine will have on groundwater and the Pages River. The Water Resource Assessment will determine the relationship between groundwater and the Pages River, what runoff will reach the river, if any, and its long term effects. A Water Management Plan will provide procedures for water usage during the life of an open cut coal mine to reduce any impact on the water resource.

The two studies will be assessed by an independent review panel, established by the Department of Planning, who will oversee the scope and analyse the technical issues and results. The panel will report their findings to the key government agencies including Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Department of Primary Industries-Minerals and the Department of Planning. The Department of Planning will then indicate whether further environmental assessment of the proposed mine is required.

Will the Water Resource Assessment and Water Management Plan be made publicly available?
Yes, the report to be submitted to the Department of Planning’s independent review panel will be made publicly available on this website.

Bulk Sample

Why was there such a reduction in the volume of ground water predicted to be generated in the bulk sample void?
The initial water model for the first REF assumed worst case estimates.
The revised REF information is the result of more extensive testing and uses more realistic estimates of water management.

Was there any water drawn out of the Pages River during the Bulk Sample? - Either pumped out for use or flowing through the aquifer?
No. The predictive studies and environmental monitoring results showed there is no geological link between the Pages River and the Bulk Sample site. In addition, water from the bulk sample void was more than adequate for all the requirements of the project.

Was the Pages River contaminated as a result of the project?
No. The predictive studies and environmental monitoring results showed there were no in-flows to the Pages River from the site.
Water quality testing on the Pages River was carried out during 2002 and 2003. This was continued throughout the bulk sample process and no significant changes in water quality were detected. In fact, the water monitoring program showed no evidence of any water quality impact on the Pages River as a result of the dewatering, and no evidence of any direct hydraulic connection between groundwater and the Pages River.

Glossary of Terms

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Bickham Coal Company PTY LTD
PO Box 470 Rutherford
NSW 2320
Phone: 02 4932 3200
fax: 02 4932 3266