Adani drilling data questioned
Environmental lawyers say Adani has unwittingly provided “persuasive” evidence into allegedly illegal works on its Carmichael mine site.
The Indian mining company handed over documents for a Queensland Government investigation into the alleged drilling of illegal bore holes.
The evidence includes details of several groundwater bores Adani registered with the government.
Queensland's Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) says these holes can only be used for prohibited dewatering operations, and the monitoring purposes Adani has claimed.
Adani says it drilled the bores “to take geological samples and monitor underground water levels”, as permitted as a stage one activity under its licence.
However, the registrations for five of the bores that appear on the Government website bear the hallmarks of dewatering bores, not monitoring bores.
Adani also confirmed it cleared 5.8 hectares of land in an attempt to correct an “administrative error” in its reporting to government.
The EDO branded this action unlawful too.
Adani says it has acted in accordance with its environmental approvals, and had “cooperated with both relevant State and Commonwealth departments regarding these allegations”.
The Queensland Government’s investigation is based partly on satellite and drone evidence of drilling gathered by environmental group Coast and Country.
“Adani have been caught red handed breaking the law, and then lying about it within official documents,” said Coast and Country spokesperson Derec Davies.
EDO chief Jo Bragg said the information Adani provided is “highly persuasive” fresh evidence that it breached its environmental licence.
“This is very important that the Government acts to properly investigate and enforce environmental laws against a big corporate citizen like Adani,” she told the ABC.
“We say the evidence is clear they have done six hectares of significant site clearance and they have done illegal drilling and illegal dewatering.
“What's the point of having terms and conditions if the Government doesn't enforce them?”
Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) has refused to comment while the investigation is ongoing.