WIT Press

A Model Of Water Quality In A Coal Mine In The Western Blue Mountains Of NSW, Australia


Free (open access)





Page Range

63 - 71




350 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Riley, C. McQuade & D. Cohen


Metal contamination of sediments can be an issue for mine sites discharging water. Water sampling of receiving waters is frequently undertaken, but examination of sediment is less common. This paper reports on a study of the water quality of an underground long-wall mine in the western Blue Mountains Coal district of New South Wales. Clarence Colliery is located at the headwaters of the Wollangambe River, N.S.W, and discharge flows through the world heritage listed area of the Blue Mountains and Wollemi National Park. The impact of the discharge of treated mine water on the Wollangambe River, through analysis of sediment metal concentrations, is quantified and possible sources and causes of acid mine drainage within the mine assessed. Keywords: coal mining, mine water management, water quality. 1 Introduction Water released from the Clarence Colliery site enters the Wollangambe River (Fig 1). The environment could be adversely impacted if the quality of water released from the Colliery is not as good or better than the condition of the surrounding environment. Waters that may be quite safely discharged into the surrounding environment at a particular site may present a high risk of having polluting effects if discharged into another environment. The interaction of discharged waters with the surrounding environment can be difficult to predict and measure. The concentration of metal ions in the sediment of a river is often much higher than experienced in the water column. This is due to the ongoing


coal mining, mine water management, water quality.