The Cobbora Coal Project was a proposed open-cut coal mine in the Gunnedah Basin in New South Wales’ central west.
As part of the Environmental Assessment, we completed groundwater and surface water assessments for the mine. We installed an extensive groundwater monitoring network (>50 piezometers) and stream gauging network. We monitored water levels and chemistry, completed isotopic analysis, pumping tests, hydrocensus, groundwater numerical modelling, as well as hydrologic, hydraulic, and water balance modelling.
Our studies assessed the following elements:
- Groundwater and surface water use, its users, flows, quality, and their interactions
- Hydrologic and hydrogeological regime on a local and regional scale, including potential flooding constraints
- Proposed mine water management system and water balance
- Potential impacts of mine site discharges on flow regime and water quality in receiving watercourses
- Flood risk to mine infrastructure and potential impacts on adjacent land
- Groundwater dependent ecosystems
- Water supply and licensing options for a water buying strategy
Our team met the requirements for water resources and acquired high-level security water entitlements. Although the mine was approved in 2014, the State Government decided not to develop and operate it. Instead, it sold the land for agricultural use.