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Stabilising the Dry Creek salt fields.

  • Government shares community concerns regarding the environment surrounding the salt fields, and is focused on stabilising the site as quickly as possible.
  • Stablising the Dry Creek salt fields is a government priority, with several regulatory actions currently underway.
  • The regulator has issued three directions to:
    • stop pumping water into ponds
    • prevent further seepage at Para River
    • remove water from the ponds south of St Kilda
  • The site operator is working to rectify the issues and is being responsive to directions from Government.
  • Government regulators are actively monitoring the site, including vegetation mapping and hydrological analysis.
  • Compliance actions as a result of the mangrove dieback remain subject to ongoing formal investigations.

The following activity is also occurring:

  • Groundwater/hydrology
    Recently collected groundwater data is reporting a reduction in seepage flow wates into the mangrove due to the reduction in pond levels from evaporation, which further supports the decision to drain the ponds
  • Vegetation assessment and mapping
    Vegetation monitoring is ongoing. While any impact to this environment is unacceptable the area of impact has not changed significantly since November 2020. Vegetation monitoring will continue to assess the area impacted
  • Broader stability arrangement
    The site operator is working with government towards a water management option to support overall stability of the salt fields. These arrangements are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks to manage the salinity of the salt fields
  • Tidal restoration studies
    The site operator and government (in collaboration with the University of Adelaide and other experts) have demonstrated successful tidal restoration results from a small former salt pond

More information about the Dry Creek salt field operation and the integrated program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) and mine operations plan (MOP) is available at https://energymining.sa.gov.au/minerals/mining/mines_and_quarries/dry_creek_salt_field

Tuesday 12 January 2021