CRACKS discovered in Mt Ousley Road have been blamed on long wall coal mining operation.
The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have reportedly atttributed the subsidence from Gujarat NRE’s longwall 4, located 250m away.
Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining Inc (IRRM) spokesperson Kaye Osborn says the mine’s subsidence impacts appear to have been far greater than the Indian based mining company’s prediction. The IRRM claim the subsidence, due to longwall 4, is more than six times greater than predicted.
“The fact that GNRE’s mining of Longwall 4 has cracked Mt Ousley Road illustrates that the State government should urgently review the impacts of longwall mining beneath the Sydney Water Catchment Special Areas,” Ms Osborn said.
“A road can presumably be repaired, however the impacts on the water catchment area, including a number of upland swamps and the Cataract Creek which are all within the subsidence zone of Longwalls 4 and 5, can never be remediated.”
GNRE, based at Russell Vale, commenced longwall mining earlier this year in a contentious move which is currently subject to a legal challenge in the Land and Environment Court by IRRM.
Ms Osborn said the development is particularly problematic as it involves mining a third strata of coal – the Wongawilli Seam – located beneath two other heavily mined seams. She said this extent of multi-seam mining has little precedent anywhere in the world; experts acknowledge that subsidence levels are difficult to predict.
Peter Turner, who discovered the cracking said, there should be no more risk taking in the special catchment areas.
“Water is far more important than coal,” he said.