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Coca Cola’s contamination fears over new sand mine

Coca Cola fears its bottled water could become contaminated if a new sand quarry is allowed to be built just kilometres away from its water source in the NSW Southern Highlands. In a submission to the NSW Department of Planning, the beverage giant said the quarry “essentially adjoins the Amatil site at their northern extents”…

Coca Cola fears its bottled water could become contaminated if a new sand quarry is allowed to be built just kilometres away from its water source in the NSW Southern Highlands.

In a submission to the NSW Department of Planning, the beverage giant said the quarry “essentially adjoins the Amatil site at their northern extents” and would come as close as two kilometres to its water extraction infrastructure.

“We have several water bores located on our land and extract such water in the process of our production in a variety of bottled spring water projects,” the submission read.

“These operations have been conducted continuously over the past 10 years and we consider such operations to continue over the long term.

“The availability, consistency, reliability, and quality of the water extracted from below the land is integral to our business and our customers.”

Coca-Cola’s issue comes primarily from the potential risk associated with “rehabilitating” the quarry – filling it back up.

A summary of key risks included in the submission suggests 9.7 million cubic metres of fill would need to be sourced from “thousands of source sites”.

“The (filling materials are) unlikely to come from a single homogenous site/source,” the risk assessment read.

“In view of this, it is likely the (materials) will need to be sourced from a significant number of source sites. Due to the likely number of source sites, there is a heightened potential for contaminated material to be disposed of at the proposed quarry.”

The Sutton Forest sand quarry seeks to mine “up to 1 million tonnes of sand per year for up to 30 years” at Hanging Rock, near the Hume Highway.

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