Australian coal miner targeted for high metal levels in water streams

Higher than usual mercury levels discovered in water sources in Western Australia by Griffin Coal are prompting calls for an immediate Government investigation.

The report, issued by Griffin-hired researchers, shows high mercury levels as well as dissolved aluminum and iron are present at a number of sites along the Collie River, including upstream from Griffin's mine, reports The West. 

The WA Department of Environment and Conservation added that while these results are basis for an investigation, they are still within human health guidelines.

Griffin ruled out its Ewington coal mine as the cause of the high levels, but Collie-Preston MP Mick Murray insists there should be more analysis to discover the reason behind the high mercury levels.

“We’re a bit perplexed by the whole thing, we have air monitors around Collie and no-one has ever broached that with me about mercury levels within the air being high, so whether it’s naturally occurring or it comes from industry, no-one’s quite sure,” he told The West.

It is believed that Griffin Coal carried out the testing following a downpour in which rainwater breached water entrapment areas of Griffin's operations.