June 22, 2024
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Glencore’s Carbon Storage Project Blocked Over Potential Groundwater Risk

The government of Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland has on Friday announced the blockage of a carbon capture and storage project proposed by commodities giant Glencore,  saying it could irreversibly harm groundwater used by farmers. The groundwater was used for agriculture, irrigation, and stock watering, according to the state’s environment department, as Reuters gathered.

The project according to a statement by the state’s environment department,  “is not suitable to proceed due to potential impacts on groundwater resources,” Similar projects would also be blocked, the statement added.

The proposed site was not a contained aquifer and the carbon dioxide “could migrate, likely causing irreversible or long-term change to groundwater quality and environmental values if the project were to proceed,” the statement added.

Such changes could include greater concentrations of contaminants such as chloride, sulphate, salinity and various metals and metalloids including lead and arsenic, it said.

The pilot project aimed to pump 330,000 metric tons of liquified carbon dioxide into an aquifer 2.3 km (1.4 miles) underground, in what Glencore called a test case for onshore carbon storage in Australia.

The decision acknowledged the importance of the Great Artesian Basin to multiple stakeholders and made clear that other carbon capture and storage projects would not be viable there, it added.

Glencore declined to comment immediately.



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