Queensland Government Rejects CO2 Storage Project In Great Artesian Basin

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The Government of Queensland has made a bold move by rejecting a potentially controversial CO2 storage project in the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). The initiative, proposed by Glencore subsidiary CTSCo, intended to inject over 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into this crucial water source. 

The primary reasons for the Queensland Government’s dismissal of the project are the environmental issues and the possible dangers linked to storing a significant quantity of CO2 underground.

The GAB is not only a vital water source for residents, but it also supports a diverse range of ecosystems and wildlife. The potential impact of introducing large quantities of carbon dioxide into this delicate environment could have had far-reaching consequences.

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In an application for approval, the group behind the project had requested authorization to conduct a three-year experiment involving the injection of up to 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually into the Precipice Sandstone aquifer near Moonie, located west of Brisbane. 

After reviewing the potential environmental impact of the project, the Queensland Department of Environment, Science, and Innovation determined that the suggested location was not appropriate for CO2 storage, therefore rejecting the proposal. 

The department expressed worries after an evaluation revealed the possibility of CO2 migration in the aquifer, leading them to deny the project due to concerns about potential lasting alterations to groundwater quality and ecosystems if it were to move forward.

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In a statement, they shared that if the project were to happen, its activities could result in higher levels of pollutants such as chloride, sulfate, salinity, different metals, and metalloids like lead and arsenic.

This decision by the authorities comes as a relief to over 180,000 individuals who rely on the GAB for their daily water needs in the inland regions of Australia.

A Glencore representative expressed their disappointment with the decision, attributing it to the harmful spread of false information and political exploitation by various parties. The representative also confirmed that Glencore would continue to explore potential investments in CCS.

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