THE HON MARTIN FERGUSON MP
Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
20 August 2010
The impacts of proposed mining operations at the Angela uranium deposit on groundwater supplies for Alice Springs will be investigated in a study announced today by the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, together with the Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon.
The investigation will be conducted by Geoscience Australia and provide advice to relevant Commonwealth Ministers.
The Angela uranium deposit is 12 km southwest of the Roe Creek borefield which supplies drinking water to Alice Springs. Water is also drawn from another part of the same aquifer at Rocky Hill, about 15 km southeast of Alice Springs. Roe Creek and Rocky Hill borefields are in the Mereenie Aquifer System.
"Our mining industry around the country must have the confidence of the communities in which it works,“ Martin Ferguson said.
“Groundwater protection is a major community concern, not only in Alice Springs, but in areas such as Liverpool Plains in New South Wales and the coal seam gas fields in the Surat Basin in Queensland where water studies are already under way.
"This study will look at proposed mining and processing methods at Angela, assess the groundwater and hydrogeological characteristics and data for the area, review baseline information such as water levels and quality, and identify any knowledge gaps."
Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon said that Alice Springs is totally dependent on safe drinking water from its underground aquifers.
“We cannot have them put at risk by mining activities.
“This study is the first step in evaluating whether there is any chance of contamination or other impacts if the Angela mine were to proceed,” Warren Snowdon said.
The study will cost $100,000 and has been provided for in the 2010 Budget.
MEDIA CONTACT: ALICE PLATE (0400 045 999)