Australia’s rich resources are credited with buffering the nation from the Global Financial Crisis. But as the boom continues, a fractured network of regulators seems ill-equipped to properly check its impact.
In the tropical northern Australian wet season from December until about March, mining companies are on alert. Water holdings swell, rainwater mixing with used-water storages that must be released in accordance with the environmental guidelines.
Sometimes companies are forced to pump water from pit to pit, making sure it doesn’t break containment and seep out into the surrounding environment. For some operations that can mean weeks of vigilant monitoring and constant pumping from one pit to the next – anything to stop an unauthorised release of the contaminated waste water.
Read the rest of the article and see photos from the MPI Northern QLD and NT project on legacy mines via The Global Mail