Case study

Maules Creek Coal Project

ProjectMaules Creek Environmental Assessment and Water Management Plan
ClientWhitehaven Coal
LocationBoggabri, New South Wales, Australia
Disciplines/ServiceDesign Event Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modelling
Site Water Balance
Dam Break Assessment
Joint Probability Analysis
WRM ContactDavid Newton

The Challenge

The Maules Creek Coal Project is a major open cut coal mine located north east of the Boggabri township.  The project was required to comply with a complex and wide reaching regulatory regime at both State and Federal levels which required a detailed and rigorous assessment of surface water impacts to address the concerns of all stakeholders.

Approach and Key Activities

WRM completed a surface water impact assessment for the project, including a flood study, surface water management strategy and site water balance (using the GoldSim software package).

Following initial planning approval, WRM also completed a site water management plan which satisfied the stringent requirements of State and Federal agencies. The proposed water management system ensured the separation of clean and dirty water on the site and that no spills would occur from the Mine Water Dam.

The investigation also determined that the proposed project would have no impact on flood behaviour along Back Creek for flood event up to the 100 Year Average Recurrence Interval.


The surface water impact assessment and water management plan satisfied government requirements for approval. Construction of the project commenced in 2013.