Tropicana Surface Water Assessment
The Tropicana Gold Mine, located 330 km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, is owned by AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and manager) and Independence Group NL (30%). More details about the joint venture and mine are given here.
Gold was discovered at Tropicana in August 2005. After successful completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study the project received development approval in November 2010. After construction of infrastructure to access the remote site, including 220 km of new road and a sealed airstrip, was completed in mid-2012, construction of the large processing plant began. First gold was poured in September 2013 and in October 2015 the open cut operation poured its 1 millionth ounce.
Tropicana is one of the most significant gold discoveries of the past decade and has a mine life of more than 10 years.
Robin has worked at the mine since 2009, providing stormwater management advice and contributing to environmental approvals documentation.
Work has involved:
- Contribution to the environmental approvals documentation related to surface water and erosion impacts, including:
- Identifying potential impacts of the development on local stormwater flow patterns, including ponding, flooding and erosion; and
- Developing management options to mitigate potential impacts.
- Assessment of flood risk; and
- Development of concept stormwater management plans.
This work initially involved identification of catchments contributing to the mine site, analysis of rainfall and runoff patterns, including evaluating potential impacts of climate change on rainfall and runoff, hydrologic modelling and preliminary flood risk assessment.
In 2015, the operating sites was reviewed and flood and erosion risk for the as-built stormwater infrastructure re-quantified. This involved hydrologic and hydraulic modelling (using DHI Mike SHE) and consideration of stormwater flows and erosion risk identified by site staff during recent rainfall events.
A range of deliverables have been produced to date. These include:
- Contribution to planning and environmental approvals documentation, which was used in the initial environmental approvals process; and
- Advice on stormwater and erosion management infrastructure, which has been used by site staff for operational planning.