Bogan Shire Council talks on mine pipeline, water concerns

DRY: Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald revealed flows into the Gunningbar creek, west of Warren had ceased and is no longer supplying Aeris Resources' Tritton mine with water. Photo: ZAARKACHA/FILE
DRY: Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald revealed flows into the Gunningbar creek, west of Warren had ceased and is no longer supplying Aeris Resources' Tritton mine with water. Photo: ZAARKACHA/FILE

AS water becomes more scarce, efforts are being made to secure water for Areis Resources to continue mining at the Tritton copper mine.

Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald revealed flows into the Gunningbar creek, west of Warren had ceased and is no longer supplying Aeris Resources' Tritton mine with water.

Efforts are currently being made to source water from Warren to be transferred to the Nyngan weir pool via the Albert Priest Channel, and then pumped to Hermidale through Cobar's pipeline.

Councillor Donald said construction was underway by Aeris to install a polyethylene pipe from Hermidale to the mine through existing culverts under the railway and the highway.

"Now that obviously is a radically differently way than what the water is currently been made available to the mine, but the current supply has been stopped," he said.

"So there needs to be a new means of getting water to the mines to keep them operating, put in place straight away, and this is the best way to do it."

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Cr Donald explained fast-tracking a way to supply the mine with water was important for the future of Nyngan.

"[The mine] employs an awful lot of people ... who live in Nyngan and on properties," he said.

"If it has to close down because it doesn't have water to operate, it's going to be a massive blow to the Nyngan economy and to the families who depend on someones wage coming from the mines.

"It's terribly important we make sure there's water available for the mine to be able to keep operating."

Cr Donald said they have been told if there were no flows into the Burrendong Dam, the Macquarie River wold only be able to supply Nyngan with water until April next year.

The council are now looking for alternate water supplies, which are being funded by the state government.

"We have to find alternate water supplies and one of those is what we're looking for which is underground water which is East of Nyngan, about 15 kilometres out on the old Warren road," Cr Donald said.

"We've got drilling contractors going out there this week to start drilling for underground water and also there's a couple sites nearer to town, near the water tower near the bowling club, there's supposed to be an old well there."

Councillor Donald also said they were also going to drill out at Lucern Valley.

"But what we really need is some connection into the Artesian basin so that we can get the water out of there so we can supplement our supply if there's no inflows and by April next year," Cr Donald explained.

Work has also been done emptying the water out of the town's emergency water supply, south of Nyngan after it was revealed there as a leak in the floor of the dam.

Cr Donald said it's now up to public works or Water NSW to take immediate action to rectify the leak and replace the emergency storage, which he said has been promised to be returned at no cost to the shire.

"So now it's just in a situation where public works or Water NSW have got to take on the responsibility of spreading some coverage and mixing it in with the clay to try and make the clay water proof again," Cr Donald said.

"That has to be done pretty well straight away so it can then have some water put back in it and tested to see if it's going to stop leaking."