Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Mining programs in the Water Supply Catchments

The Current Mining Program in the Water Catchments

The table and map below reveal the extent of intensive coal mining in Sydney's water supply catchments. There is potential for for very serious environmental damage to these sensitive and precious water supply areas. There are six operational* and two currently proposed mines in the water supply catchments south of Sydney:

Colliery Catchment Company  Mining Method
Appin* (CL 768,381,388 767)  Metropolitan  BHP-Billiton  Longwall
West Cliff* (CL 724) O'Hares   BHP-Billiton  Longwall
Metropolitan* (CL 379, 703) O'Hares and Woronora   Peabody Energy  Longwall
NRE No 1* (Bellambi West) (CL 745)  Metropolitan  NRE Gujarat  Longwall
Delta* (Elouera) (CL 768)  Metropolitan  NRE Gujarat  Longwall
Avon (CL 765)  Metropolitan  NRE Gujarat  ?
Dendrobium* (CL 768)  Metropolitan  BHP-Billiton  Longwall
Bargo (CL 747)  Metropolitan  Xstrata Coal  Longwall
Key: CL= Coal Lease.      

The full extent of damage from mining, however, is unknown. Monitoring of mining damage is incomplete and public access to the catchments is prohibited. Additional serious damage to our water supply catchments has been discovered by environment groups on three occasions: at the Elouera mine in 2000 (stream flow loss); and at the Dendrobium mine in January and February 2008 (additional major cliff falls and crevasses).

The Sydney Catchment Authority expect that 91 per cent of the water supply catchments will be mined, so there is significant potential for extensive and serious damage.

Extent of Coal Mining Leases in the Metropolitan drinking water catchments.

Note: Coal Mining leases are shown in grey, and more are being sought.