Environmental authorities are investigating claims that Adani dug bores without permission.

Environmental group Coast and Country says high resolution satellite and drone imagery shows the “illegal” dewatering bores at the site of Adani's controversial Carmichael coal mine project in north Queensland.

The Queensland environment department has launched an investigation.

Miners use dewatering bores to depressurise coal seams and lower groundwater levels for open cut and underground operations.

Adani says it is abiding by the Carmichael mine’s approval conditions.

“Drilling has been undertaken at the Carmichael mine site to take geological samples and monitor underground water levels,” an Adani spokesperson has told reporters.

“This is project stage one activity as permitted under Environmental Authority for the mine, which was issued in April 2016.”

The company says it has “not been notified of an investigation”.

“Like all resources companies, we have ongoing dialogue with regulators about our operations and regularly submit information to them as required under our various approvals.”

The Queensland environment department said the “bores were recently drilled and were not in place at the time of a recent inspection of the site”.

“The department is now investigating the location and purpose of these bores,” a spokesperson for the department said.

Conservationists says Adani's dewatering plans will see groundwater levels plunge, putting the nearby Doongmabulla Springs at risk.