GVK Hancock hits back at water supply claims

INDIAN mining giant GVK Hancock has hit back at claims from anti-coal activists that its planned operations could leave landowners with dwindling water supplies.

GVK proposes to develop an enormous coal operation in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton.

The project is understood to be on the cusp of approval, but new data from a Central Queensland land-owner has anti-mining campaigners Lock the Gate calling for the decision to be delayed.

Emerald wheat producer Paul Murphy released groundwater monitoring figures for his property which showed water levels, which were expected to fall by 2m by 2020, were now on track to fall by five times that.

Mr Murphy and Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton said the findings had ramifications for the emerging Galilee Basin region.

"My results should be ringing alarm bells for farmers and communities across Central Queensland, given the massive new coal mines proposed," Mr Murphy said.

"Water is a farmer's lifeblood and threats to our water put our livelihoods at risk."

A spokesperson for GVK said it would enter legally binding "make-good agreements" with property owners before construction began to ensure water was protected.

These meant GVK must compensate landholders for any change or impact on their water bores.

The $4.2 billion project will include two open-cut coal mines, three underground operations, a 2000-person camp and 2.5km runway for workforce.

It will require 1800 workers to build and 1600 to operate.