Anglesea water body nears 15 per cent full

November 29, 2021 BY

Alcoa’s former coal mine in Anglesea is slowly filling with water. Photo: ALCOA

THE water body being created at Alcoa’s former mine in Anglesea continues to rise and is nearing 15 per cent of its proposed full level.

The mine void eventually filling with water is critical for not only the realisation of the $150 million Eden Project Anglesea project but also Alcoa’s Anglesea Mine Rehabilitation and Closure Plan.

According to Alcoa Anglesea site asset manager Warren Sharp, the water body is now 14.6 per cent of the estimated total volume as of Tuesday this week.

Mr Sharp said Eden Project International chief executive officer David Harland had previously stated the waterbody would be a sufficient backdrop for the operations of Eden Project Anglesea at 50 per cent full, which would represent somewhere between 8 gigalitres and 9 gigalitres of water.

“However, an approved long term waterbody filling strategy is required before Eden proceeds with further, more detailed design work and community consultation on the project.”

He said Alcoa’s preferred strategy was to fill the mine void over five to 10 years to support the existing Eden Project Anglesea concept (revealed in May 2019), early community access to the broader area, as well as “significant jobs and economic development in the region”.

Mr Sharp said Alcoa started a 12-month groundwater pumping test in May of this year to further that goal.

“The test continues to progress well, with 569ML added to the waterbody since it commenced, and all activities conducted in accordance with the licence conditions.

“As planned, we will pause the pumping in early December to collate, analyse and validate the data collected in the first six months of the test.

“Once a sustainable pumping rate is established, Alcoa intends to apply for a further licence amendment to continue groundwater pumping in the longer term.

“The final timeframe for filling the waterbody is yet to be finalised as it will be dependent on regulatory approvals.”