Bowdens Silver – Water Supply Strategies to Satisfy Complex Regulations and Community Expectations
On behalf of our client Bowdens Silver, RWC has recently submitted an amendment to the development application for the proposed Bowdens Silver Project (SSD 5765) that described the intended supply and management of water to support mineral ore processing up to 2.07 million tonnes per annum as well as essential site management processes.
Securing water supply in NSW is complex given the water regulation system that has been implemented by the NSW Government in line with its requirements regarding water resources within the Murray Darling Basin and across the state.
In order to ensure the security of water supply for this important regional Project, RWC worked with technical consultants covering surface water, groundwater and engineering design. A strategy has been developed that reduces water use and water lost to evaporation through the design of the Project, while water storage and management ensures the security of supply using on-site water sources including advanced dewatering through groundwater bores and a series of harvestable rights dams. This approach ensures long-term water supply security that will drought-proof the operation. A previously proposed 58km water pipeline has been removed from the Project as a result, substantially reducing the land needed to be disturbed for the Project with benefits to biodiversity, Aboriginal heritage and the disruption of farming land that this would have entailed.
The amendment to the Project has been publicly exhibited to present the improvements to the community, something that has been and will be a feature of community consultation for the Project. This approach has met the requirements of DPE Water both in terms of surface water and groundwater resources and the EPA has confirmed its satisfaction with the approach to erosion and sediment controls.
Bowdens Silver and RWC are now addressing the final submissions on the Project with a view towards determination by the NSW Independent Planning Panel in the second half of the year. We are proud to have partnered with Bowdens Silver to seek the necessary approvals to develop what is one of the largest undeveloped silver deposits in Australia and in what is a complex regulatory and community environment.
More information on the Project and the status of the assessment can be found at the following websites.
• Bowdens Silver (www.bowdenssilver.com.au)
• NSW Major Projects Planning Portal (www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/projects/bowdens-silver-temp)