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Update on White Rock Quarry mine operation plan (MOP)
12 October 2022 - Update on White Rock Quarry compliance order
On 20 May 2022, the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) issued a compliance order to Hanson Construction Materials regarding the offsite release of sediment-laden stormwater into Third Creek from the White Rock Quarry. Refer to update dated 6 June 2022 for further details.
September 2022 progress updates against the key requirements of the compliance direction include the following:
Prepare and implement a plan of action to reduce the amount of sediment-laden (contaminated) stormwater.
- On 1 July 2022, Hanson submitted to DEM a plan outlining the actions to be taken to reduce sediment-laden stormwater release into Third Creek.
- DEM and the EPA have reviewed the plan and will continue to monitor implementation progress to ensure proposed actions are implemented and achieve the desired improvements to stormwater management.
Complete construction of an additional onsite sediment basin, which will allow for passive stormwater treatment (that is, without addition of chemical flocculant).
- Hanson has commenced the construction of the infrastructure to provide additional capacity for the passive treatment of sediment laden stormwater.
- The construction timeframe has been impacted by the amount of rain received during August and September, however it is anticipated these activities will continue through to completion prior to winter 2023. Further progress will be provided in future DEM updates.
Commence active treatment, using flocculants, to accelerate the removal of sediment from water.
- Use of chemical flocculants will not occur until DEM and the EPA are satisfied Hanson have demonstrated that any product used will not cause harm to the environment or freshwater ecosystems, and that adequate systems and controls are in place to manage flocculant use.
- Once the related infrastructure works are completed and the proposed flocculants to be used are endorsed by regulators, the addition of active flocculant to stormwater within a purpose-built sediment basin will occur.
- DEM and the EPA will closely monitor the construction, commissioning and operation to ensure Hanson complies with operational approvals and relevant environmental standards.
DEM is the lead regulator for the White Rock Quarry and works closely with the EPA to ensure Hanson addresses any non-compliances as a priority. Hanson must take all reasonable and practicable measures to improve stormwater management and minimise sediment-laden stormwater leaving the site during high rainfall events.
The department respects and encourages the role communities play in referring concerns to the department. Communities should report any matters to the department’s customer service number on (08) 8463 3000 or the EPA 24-hour Emergency Response Team on (08) 8204 2004 with dates, times, exact location and photographs.
On 23 December 2020 Hanson Construction Materials Ltd (Hanson) submitted a revised mine operation plan (MOP) for the White Rock Quarry. Government has determined that alterations and additional information is necessary before the assessment of the proposed operations of the White Rock Quarry can be completed. Hanson were required to revise and re-submit the MOP before 30 June 2022.
On 9 June 2022, Hanson wrote to the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) seeking an extension to the timeframe for submission of the revised MOP.
Hanson outlined the following reasons to support their extension request:
- additional time to:
- undertake Aboriginal Heritage consultation
- collect air quality monitoring data
- undertake native vegetation and fauna surveys
- inclusion in the MOP of the actions required by the 20 May 2022 DEM Compliance Order.
While DEM requires Hanson to progress these matters as a priority, it is acknowledged that the collection of critical data and effective consultation is important to allow for assessment of the proposal.
DEM has accepted the extension request, and Hanson will now be required to provide the revised MOP on or before 31 March 2023.
On 20 May 2022 the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) issued a compliance order to Hanson Construction Materials regarding White Rock Quarry.
The compliance order relates to White Rock Quarry’s non-compliance with its mine operations plan in relation to offsite release of sediment-laden stormwater into Third Creek. This non-compliance usually occurs when high rainfall events overwhelm the existing stormwater management controls at the site.
An Environment Protection Authority (EPA) environmental improvement program has been in place at the site since 2017. DEM's compliance order incorporates key elements of this program, particularly regarding actions to improve stormwater quality, reduce offsite sediment discharge and continuously monitor water quality.
The compliance order requires Hanson to undertake the following actions:
- Prepare and implement a plan of action to reduce the amount of sediment-laden (contaminated) stormwater.
- Complete construction of an additional sediment basin, which will allow for the passive treatment of stormwater.
- Commence active treatment using flocculants to accelerate the removal of sediment from water.
These actions will all be completed by the end of 2022.
Sediment basins are already utilised on the site to capture coarse sediment by intercepting stormwater before it reaches waterways. This process slows down water movement to allow the coarse sediment to settle before the runoff is discharged.
Flocculants are not currently utilised in stormwater management at the site, however they will help the fine particles in water to come together as large clusters, or flocs, to make it easier for them to settle out of the water.
DEM has now assumed the lead role in regulating the White Rock Quarry and continues to work closely with the EPA to ensure Hanson addresses these non-compliances as a priority. Although Hanson has been working to improve stormwater management at the site, DEM acknowledges that non-compliances may occur during high rainfall events and expects Hanson to take all reasonable and practicable measures to minimise these events.
The department respects and encourages the role communities play in referring concerns to the department. Communities should report any matters to the department’s customer service number on (08) 8463 3000 or the EPA 24-hour Emergency Response Team on (08) 8204 2004 with dates, times, exact location and photos.
Hanson Construction Materials holds an EPA licence to operate White Rock Quarry with conditions to manage surface water and stormwater. Hanson's EPA licence was renewed on 1 December 2021. The new licence has been issued for 12 months with updated conditions to ensure environmental improvements are continuing.
- Read the EPA Community update on the White Rock Quarry licence renewal
- More information about the White Rock Quarry EPA licence conditions and compliance is available on the EPA website
In July 2021, DEM requested further detailed information from Hanson Construction on their current mine operations plan (MOP) application for the White Rock Quarry. DEM provided Hanson with 6 months to prepare a revised MOP. On 22 November 2021, Hanson wrote to DEM seeking an extension to the timeframe to submit the revised MOP.
Following on from the DEM request for a revised response and further information, the reasons provided for the extended timeframe include (but are not limited to):
- Resolution of the on-going EPA Environment Improvement Program related to surface water discharge from the quarry
- Additional time to obtain a representative data set related to dust generated by quarrying activities
- Further work on matters relating to Aboriginal Heritage
DEM has accepted the extension request, and Hanson will now be required to provide the revised MOP on or before 30 June 2022.
Following submission of a mine operations plan (MOP) on 23 December 2020, the Department for Energy and Mining has carefully assessed the MOP. Government has determined that alterations are required and additional information necessary to enable further assessment of the proposed future operations of the White Rock Quarry.
Hanson are now required to revise the MOP and re-submit within six months. The revised MOP will then undergo another comprehensive assessment, resulting in either a requirement to make further alterations, or an approval. This process will determine the environmental objectives and criteria that the proposed operations will be regulated against.
A summary document highlighting the alterations required has been prepared. The matters raised reflect both Hanson’s obligations under the Mining Act 1971, and expectations of contemporary quarrying practice in South Australia. The comprehensive list of the matters requiring alteration by Hanson is also available, which is the official request for additional information letter.
Following the conclusion of an extensive review of Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd's draft mining operations plan (MOP) for the White Rock Quarry, on 5 July 2021 the South Australian Government has issued advice to Hanson regarding information gaps identified in the MOP. This advice has been issued in accordance with section 73G of the Mining Act 1971, which obligates government to consult with Hanson on required alterations. Accordingly, Hanson have been invited to make a submission to government. Following receipt of Hanson's submission, the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) will finalise and issue a formal, detailed notification of required alterations to the White Rock Quarry MOP.
Given the significant information gaps identified by Government in Hanson's MOP, which include matters raised by community in relation to the quarry, it is anticipated that the formal notification will be issued over the coming fortnight.
Consistent with earlier advice to quarry stakeholders, the comprehensive formal notification of required alterations that will be issued to Hanson - commonly known as a request for information (RFI) - will be published on this website at the time it is issued.
The Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) plays a crucial role in protecting the environment and local amenity of communities around operations. The function of DEM in the assessment process for mine operation plans (MOPs) is to ensure all relevant legislative requirements are met and unwanted impacts are limited as far as possible.
The requirement to protect community from potential impacts such as noise and dust is obligatory for all quarries and mines in South Australia, and no different for private mines. The standards applied to all mines and quarries are the same standards that are applied to all forms of development in South Australia. This reflects a state-wide focus on safe, fit-for-purpose management of potential impacts in each circumstance.
The assessment of the updated mine operations plan for the White Rock Quarry is being conducted in accordance with the Mining Act 1971, and is considering potential impacts and proposed mitigations across elements including (but not limited to) air quality, noise, traffic, flora and fauna impacts, cultural impacts, visual amenity and rehabilitation plans, as well as the scope of the proposed operations described in the MOP document.
This assessment will inform a request for further information from Hanson, and ultimately inform a decision on the mine operations plan in the coming months.
On 15 January 2021 the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) completed the preliminary assessment of the mine operation plan (MOP) submitted to DEM on 23 December 2020 and can confirm that the MOP submission has been accepted for detailed assessment.
The government has now commenced the detailed assessment of the MOP involving technical specialists from DEM and other relevant government agencies.
On 19 January 2021 Hanson Construction Materials Ltd (Hanson) provided public access to the revised mine operation plan (MOP) that was submitted to the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) on 23 December 2020 for assessment. The revised MOP can be accessed via Hanson' White Rock Quarry webpage.
On 23 December 2020 Hanson Construction Materials Ltd (Hanson) submitted a revised mine operation plan (MOP) for the White Rock Quarry.
The MOP document is currently under preliminary assessment to determine whether the content of the MOP meets the minimum requirements for assessment which are prescribed by the Mining Regulations 2011. The preliminary assessment is expected to be completed by Friday 15 January 2021.
The government will then commence the detailed assessment of the submitted MOP involving technical specialists from Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) and other relevant government agencies.
The detailed assessment will focus on the proposed environmental objectives and measurement criteria including whether:
- potential environmental impacts have been identified and whether the expected level of impact described broadly in the objective is appropriate
- the proposed control and management strategies are likely to achieve the proposed objective
- the measurement criteria are appropriate to demonstrate achievement of the objective.
Detailed assessment timeframes are commensurate with the complexity of the MOP submission and require thorough review of technical information.
At the conclusion of the assessment a recommendation is prepared, detailing whether the MOP can be approved or if alterations are required by the company. The recommendation is based on the evidence contained in the MOP and other relevant technical information. The statutory duty of the Director of Mines to approve or require alterations to a MOP is delegated to DEM.
Further information about concerns relating to respirable crystalline silicosis (RCS) can be found in the information sheet Silicosis in mining and quarrying in South Australia (PDF 624.1 KB), developed by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) in collaboration with Environment Protection Authority (EPA), SA Health, Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee (MAQOHSC) and SafeWork SA.
About the White Rock Quarry operation
The White Rock Quarry is a private mine operated by Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd, located approximately 10 km east of Adelaide CBD covering an area of approximately 136 hectares.
- Download location map of White Rock Quarry via the South Australian Resources Information Geoserver (SARIG).
The quarry produces sandstone quartzite products for the construction materials industry in South Australia. Products include concrete aggregates and road base products.
White Rock Quarry has been identified as a strategic mineral resources area in South Australia.
The mining operation
Hanson completed a drilling and resource modelling program which identified the presence of high-grade resource within the footprint of the existing area of the White Rock Quarry and within the existing boundaries of the private mine.
As a result of information obtained from a drilling program onsite, Hanson wish to make a change to the extraction plans for White Rock Quarry.
On 23 December 2020, Hanson submitted a mine operation plan (MOP) detailing their long-term quarry development plans.
DEM completed the preliminary assessment of the MOP on 15 January 2021 and the MOP submission was accepted for detailed assessment.
The detailed assessment to date has informed the need to seek additional information from Hanson. DEM has now issued a request for information (RFI) to Hanson.
In order to ensure DEM are able to effectively regulate the outcomes of the MOP in accordance with the Mining Act and recommence the detailed assessment of the MOP, DEM is seeking additional detail in relation to the MOP.
Regulatory compliance update
DEM is aware of recent sediment runoff at the Hanson White Rock Quarry. DEM is the lead regulator of the Hanson White Rock Quarry, which is co-regulated with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Hanson is required to achieve the compliance objectives and conditions of the mining operations plan and EPA licence for stormwater. This is not being achieved at present. DEM and the EPA have taken compliance action on 20 July 2021 with the intent of reducing the sediment load leaving the site.
Hanson is required to take further measures to manage the stormwater on site including re-construction of a second sediment basin to capture more sediment and retain it on site. Capturing and treating the turbid (cloudy or opaque appearance in water generally caused by suspended solid matter) stormwater to the required water quality prior to release will reduce the sediment discharge outside the site.
DEM acknowledges that Hanson is working toward bringing the site within compliance.
DEM appreciates the role communities can play in referring concerns to the department. Communities can report any matters to the DEM customer service number on (08) 8463 3000 or the EPA 24 hour Emergency Response Team on (08) 8204 2004 with dates, times, exact location and photos.
- Private mine (PM) 188, Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd, area of 136.87 hectares, for the extraction of quartzite
- Operated by Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd
- Quarrying commenced in 1946
Documents and reports
A mine operation plan (MOP) for the White Rock Quarry was approved in March 2005. As this document includes information pertaining to private mines, in accordance with Section 73Q of the Mining Act 1971, a MOP is not available for public inspection. An extract of the approved objectives and criteria are available upon application.
On 23 December 2020 Hanson submitted a mine operation plan (MOP) detailing their long-term quarry development plans.
DEM has now issued a request for information (RFI) to Hanson before recommencing the detailed assessment of the MOP which will ultimately inform a decision to either approve the MOP or require Hanson to make amendments.
Hanson contact information
Hanson are undertaking community engagement during the MOP review period.
For more information contact Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd
Frequently asked questions
On 23 December 2020, Hanson submitted a revised mine operations plan (MOP review) detailing the long-term quarry development plans.
The government has undertaken a detailed assessment of the MOP review involving technical specialists from the Department for Energy and Mining and other relevant government agencies. A summary and a full copy of the request for further information (RFI) and alterations is available:
- Request for additional information - summary of matters raised in the request for additional information
- Request for additional information - comprehensive list of matters requiring alteration by Hanson (PDF)
Hanson must clarify the scope of their proposed operations, and provide risk analysis and evidence relevant to that scope. This involves analysing potential areas of impact including: air quality, noise, blasting, public safety, Aboriginal and non-aboriginal heritage, native vegetation and fauna, groundwater, surface water, hours of operation, visual amenity, traffic impacts at the mine access points, and third party property.
Hanson’s proposed operations cannot be undertaken without approval. Hanson will need to address the government requirements and submit an amended MOP Review for re-assessment to continue the application.
Hanson has six months to respond. Once a revised MOP review has been received, technical specialists from the Department for Energy and Mining, the Department for Environment and Water, the Environment Protection Authority and SA Health will then undertake a detailed assessment to determine if updated MOP can be approved or requires further alterations.
A MOP review will happen if the mining plans change significantly, or alterations are required to the environmental objectives or measurement criteria. Operators review their approved MOP to seek approval for changes to extraction plans and activities, or the environmental objectives or measurement criteria.
A review of a MOP can either be initiated by the department or by the private mine owner. In this instance the review of the MOP was initiated by Hanson as the owner of the private mine.
There have been concerns raised about the potential impact the proposed plans would have on the local environment and population.
These concerns have included but are not limited to:
- Potential noise impacts to adjoining residents
- Pollution of the adjoining creek
- Impacts of heavy vehicle traffic on Council’s roads
- Impacts on fauna and flora within the proposed expansion area
- Management of crystalline silica dust generated by quarry activity
- Meeting Environment Protection Authority (EPA) separation guidelines
- Impact on the Hills Face Zone
- Buffer or exclusion zones
- Aboriginal heritage
The Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) acknowledges the concerns and understands the community’s expectation that impacts to the local area will be minimised. DEM’s role as the regulator is to ensure the adherence by mining operators to the Mining Act 1971.
The Mining Act outlines how mining operations must operate and limit the impacts to the environment and requires all mining operations to perform environmental impact assessments (EIAs). EIAs must analyse potential impact from proposed mining operations, and set out strategies to manage those impacts by setting environmental objectives and measurement criteria. For private mines, the EIA is an essential part of the MOP review and needs to address the current requests for further information and alterations sought by the regulator.
Silica is a common name for the compound silicon dioxide (SiO2). It is a common and naturally occurring mineral, found in almost all rocks and soils, often found in the form of a mineral called quartz.
Fine silica particles that are smaller than or equal to 10 micrometres in size are called respirable crystalline silica (RCS), also known as fine crystalline silica, and can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Particles this small cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Silicosis is a lung disease associated with occupations that involve the fracturing of rocks which contain silica minerals (quartz, cristobalite and tridymite). Management of dust to mitigate any elevated RCS risk for mine and quarry workers in proximity to dust generation activities, and therefore for more-distantly located members of the public, is mandated across South Australia.
Further information about concerns relating to respirable crystalline silicosis (RCS) can be found in the information sheet Silicosis in mining and quarrying in South Australia (PDF 624.1 KB), developed by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) in collaboration with Environment Protection Authority (EPA), SA Health, SafeWork SA and the Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee (MAQOHSC).
A detailed assessment of the MOP review and associated data, management plans and programs is undertaken by relevant technical specialists (for example environmental scientists and engineers) from across the South Australian Government.
The assessment considers the MOP review against the requirements of the Mining Act, and focuses on the appropriateness and achievability of the environmental objectives. This includes whether:
- the expected level of impact to the environment is appropriate, considering the control and management strategies described; and
- the proposed control and management strategies are likely to achieve the proposed objective.
The assessment then considers the criteria that must be monitored and measured to demonstrate the objectives are being achieved, how, where and when that monitoring is performed, and the standards it is performed against.
The assessment will result in a recommendation to either approve the MOP review, or require the applicant to make alterations and re-submit for further assessment. The recommendation is based on the evidence contained in the MOP review and other relevant technical information, which must display an appropriate level of understanding, consideration and mitigation of local impacts.
The request for further information (RFI) published on 28 July 2021 sets out the significant additional work required by Hanson for their proposed plans to be assessed by Government, including in relation to potential impacts in later stages of Hanson’s proposed extension of the quarry.
Reliable and cost-effective supply of construction materials is fundamental to sustainable growth, and for this reason quarrying operations, particularly strategic metropolitan resources, are typically long-term activities. Quarrying regulation is focused on the proposed activities rather than time, and as a consequence the legislation requires that MOPs must be reviewed every seven years during the life of a quarry to ensure that they remain contemporary.
In this instance Hanson are required to provide significant additional information about their proposed future operations in order that those operations can be assessed against the requirements of the Mining Act.
The request for information (RFI) sets out the requirement for Hanson to engage with the Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation to identify the nature and location of any Aboriginal heritage within the proposed development area, for consideration and assessment in accordance with both the Mining Act 1971 and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.
Hanson must clarify the scope of their proposed operations, and provide risk analysis and evidence relevant to that scope. This involves analysing potential areas of impact including:
- air quality
- public safety
- Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage
- native vegetation and fauna
- surface water
- hours of operation
- visual amenity
- traffic impacts at the mine access points
- third party property.
Hanson’s proposed operations cannot be undertaken without approval. Hanson will need to address the government requirements and submit an amended MOP review for re-assessment to continue the application.
Hanson has six months to respond and once an amended MOP review has been received, government will then undertake a comprehensive assessment of Hanson’s submission ahead of a decision on whether the MOP requires further alteration or can be approved.
The Department for Energy and Mining will continue to update its White Rock webpage with information.
When the 1971 Mining Act commenced, ownership of South Australia’s minerals was transferred to the state to be managed on behalf of South Australians. In recognition of this significant change, the Mining Act introduced a process for people who had lost their mineral rights to apply to retain their mineral rights under certain conditions.
If their application was successful, the Governor proclaimed the area to be a private mine. Whilst changes to the Mining Act in 2020 more closely align the regulatory framework for private mines with those that apply to any other mine, private mines remain distinct from other mining tenements and are regulated under the framework set out in the Mining Act.
No. Mining operations at a private mine are regulated under the Mining Act 1971. Mining operations at a private mine must not be undertaken unless a mine operation plan (MOP) is in place and it is approved by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM).
As with all mining operations, private mine owners must undertake environmental impact assessments and manage the impact of their mining by implementing appropriate management strategies.
A MOP sets out how objectives, strategies and criteria will work together to manage potential impacts on the environment throughout all stages of mining, including final rehabilitation. A MOP review must include:
- environmental objectives that must be achieved
- control strategies and management plans for avoiding, mitigating or controlling potential impacts, and ensuring environmental objectives can be achieved
- criteria for demonstrating that environmental objectives have been achieved, and a clear monitoring and reporting framework for measurement of operations against the criteria
- relevant obligations to be followed under other legislation, eg requirements under the Environment Protection Act 1993.
Potential impacts that are identified in the assessment must be mitigated, controlled with appropriate management strategies, and reported on annually. The MOP review must also address the requirements of any other relevant environment improvement program or environment protection policies under the Environment Protection Act 1993. Additionally, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) regulates any relevant requirements of an environment improvement program or environment protection policies. SafeWork SA regulate Work Health and Safety (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) on mine sites as well as matters relating to the use, transport and storage of explosives (Explosives Act 1936) and the storage, transport and use of dangerous substances (Dangerous Substances Act 1979).
For existing and ongoing operations on private mines, the operator is not required to undertake public consultation on MOP objectives and criteria. However, it is widely recognised that it is best practice to engage with the community, make plans, objectives and criteria publicly available, and seek contributions and feedback during the development or review of a MOP.
For existing and ongoing operations on private mines, there is no legal framework for the regulator to formally consult with the public on the content of the MOP review, including its objectives and criteria. The objectives and criteria within the MOP will be developed by the regulator during the Department for Energy and Mining's assessment, when assessment officers and other government specialists, such as environmental scientists and engineers, undertake a detailed review of the technical aspects of the MOP review and determine whether it is likely that the environmental objectives will be achieved.
The department strongly encourages operators to engage widely with the community and explain the proposed development and how the environmental objectives will be achieved. Hanson have made their proposed development plans and the proposed updated objectives and criteria available to the public, and are maintaining a White Rock Quarry webpage.
You can find the following on Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd (Hanson)’s White Rock Quarry webpage:
- Revised MOP - the MOP review is the overarching document that sets out the development plans, but also includes the environmental assessment, objectives and criteria
- Existing approved environmental objectives and criteria as above
- Proposed development plans for the site by the applicant
- Proposed updated objectives and criteria
- A community feedback form
During periods of heavy rainfall, discoloured water enters the Third Creek catchment from White Rock Quarry, because stormwater flows too quickly to allow the installed engineered structures to remove all the sediment from the surface water.
Sediment control is an important part of protecting our aquatic environment downstream of mining and quarrying operations.
Stormwater is rainwater plus anything the rain carries along with it. At White Rock Quarry, sediment is generated when rain falls on disturbed surfaces, such as internal unsealed roads or unvegetated areas. Rainwater falling on to the site collects fine particles as it flows downstream. This stormwater or ‘surface water runoff’ then runs into constructed ponds called sediment basins (also known as stormwater ponds). Sediment basins are designed to slow the water and allow the sediment to fall out of suspension within the basin. When stormwater flows too quickly or too large a volume exists, sediment basins cannot always remove all sediment from the stormwater.
High sediment levels in surface water can cause environmental impacts to waterways or creeks, and therefore the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) regulate the permissible sediment levels in water leaving mines and quarries across South Australia.
Recent exceedances of the regulatory compliance criteria have led to DEM, in collaboration with EPA, to take compliance action against the site operator. DEM and the EPA are seeking further improvements to stormwater management at the quarry over the next 12 months.
Hanson is required to monitor (by an independent expert) the quality of any water leaving the site against the compliance criteria which sets the maximum permissible sediment level in water leaving the site.
DEM and the EPA will continue to actively regulate the site, including any proposed improvements to surface water management. As with all quarry operations, the department supports direct engagement between operators and the communities they operate in.
Sediment basins are not tailings dams. Tailings dams are used for the permanent storage of mining and mineral processing by-products. Such by-products are called ‘tails’ or ‘tailings’ by the resources industry. Sediment basins are engineered stormwater control structures designed to capture and slow sediment-affected stormwater, to reduce the sediment load of water before it leaves the sediment basin. The capture of stormwater (or surface water runoff) for the treatment of sediment should not be mistaken with a tailings dam.
White Rock Quarry does not produce tails or tailings, and does not have a tailings dam or tailings storage facility located on the site.
Figure 1: Processes within a sediment basin
After Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2018) Sediment basins — Links and references, WetlandInfo website, accessed 21 September 2021.
A lease agreement between Hanson and the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) permits the on-going use of land for ancillary quarry activities such as water supply and stockpiles, adjacent to their private mine area and the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. This area of land predates the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. There is no active mining of quarry material within the DEW lease area.
The DEW lease contains a condition that the lessee shall, at its expense, rehabilitate the land to the satisfaction of the Minister at the conclusion of operations within the DEW lease boundaries.
The site continues to be operated under the current DEW lease arrangement.
A natural billabong did not exist in the area prior to Hanson activities. Recent social media and media reports are incorrect.
During works on the existing water storage dams in 2007, Hanson created an area which captured surface water. This area was not designed as a dam. Time-series aerial imagery highlights both the initial activities leading to the capturing of water and subsequent filling of the area with stockpile material as part of operations. DEM and DEW officers have investigated this matter and conclude a natural and/or significant water source has not been disturbed by the activities in the area.
Hanson are undertaking community engagement during the MOP review period.
For enquiries relating to the mining operation contact:
- Email: DEM.MiningRegRehab@sa.gov.au