Gabanintha vanadium project
11 Feb 2019
Technology Metals Australia Ltd are developing the Gabanintha Vanadium Project. The project is located in Western Australia, 40 km south of Meekatharra. The site has one of the highest grade vanadium deposits in the world. At peak production the mine will produce 13,000 tonnes of high grade vanadium per year. Production is planned to commence by the end of 2021. The project is currently undertaking environmental and feasibility studies and infrastructure design.
More details about the Gabanintha Vanadium Project are given on the Technology Metals website.
Vanadium is an industrial metal, mainly used to strengthen steel alloys. These alloys are often in structural steel, high speed tools, titanium alloys and aircraft. Vanadium is also used in non-ferrous alloys, chemicals and for energy storage. In 2017, 86% of vanadium consumption was used for production of steel alloys.
Currently only 5% of vanadium production is used in batteries. Emerging demand for use in vanadium redox batteries could see demand for vanadium increase significantly.
Hydrologia investigated surface water aspects of the Gabanintha Vanadium Project, including environmental impact assessment and an evaluation of flood risk for key site infrastructure.
Results of our work are being used in environmental impact documentation and feasibility studies and used to help inform design.
Mount Mulgine Mine Hydrology
08 Oct 2018
Tungsten Mining is developing the Mount Mulgine mine, a tungsten and molybdenum resource in the Murchison Region, 330 km north of Perth, Western Australia. This project will produce tungsten and molybdenum for the export market. Tungsten and molybdenum are used to produce hard industrial metals.
The Mount Mulgine mine has two near-surface mineral resources – Mulgine Trench and Mulgine Hill. Tungsten Mining is currently implementing its strategic development plan for the project, with a focus is on production from Mulgine Hill. The project is moving through the resource definition and planning approval phases into design and construction. Mining production commences in 2019.
More details about the project are given on the Tungsten Mining website.
A key part of planning approvals for the project is the mining proposal. This hydrology study supports the mining proposal and provides information on surface water management to guide mine planning. Hydrologia’s work focusses on the Mulgine Hill resource and associated mining infrastructure.
Woodlupine Brook Living Stream Design
22 Mar 2018
The Shire of Kalamunda is upgrading part of Woodlupine Brook to a living stream. The section of the Brook is located between Hardley and Sheffield Roads in Wattle Grove, Perth, Western Australia. The Brook here is currently a steep sided drain with numerous concrete drop structures.
Considerable commercial and residential development is occurring along both sides of the Brook. There is a general interest from the community in improving the amenity of the streamline and surrounding parkland. Improving connectivity between residential areas to the north of the Brook and the retail and commercial area to the south is also desirable.
The works are part of a Shire of Kalamunda project termed “The Cell Nine Project”. Developer contributions for the estate funded the project. Works as part of the Cell Nine Project include:
- Conversion of the drain to a living stream;
- Construction of a new pedestrian bridge; and
- Extension of Wimbridge Road, including a crossing over Woodlupine Brook and connecting roadworks.
A playground and landscaping just downstream of this project’s area was completed by 2016. Other parts of the Brook have been upgraded previously as well.
Work on Stage 2 of the upgrade has been completed. The Wimbridge Road works and the new pedestrian bridge have been constructed. Upgrade of the drain to a living stream from the existing playground up to the new pedestrian bridge has recently been completed. Stage 3 is expected to be undertaken in 2019/2020.
Quarry hydrology and legal advice
07 Feb 2018
BGC Quarries operates the Voyager Quarry facility, near the Lakes, east of Perth in Western Australia. The site has been operating since 1990. Rock is extracted from an open pit, crushed and sold for a range of aggregate and block products.
As early as 2005, BGC Quarries received conditional environmental approval to develop the Voyager II Quarry, just to the west of the then active Voyager site. Clearing and development of the new quarry area required assessment and management of potential environmental impacts. Community concerns about the potential impact of the quarry on surrounding farmland were also addressed.
Robin provided advice regarding surface water aspects of the environmental assessment. He also helped represent the proponent in the Town Planning Appeals Tribunal.
Voyager Quarry II was commissioned on 24 September 2010 and is now in full operation.
Expert witness for road alignment hydrology study
07 Feb 2018
Robin was engaged as an expert witness for a road alignment dispute in the Pilbara, near Newman, Western Australia. He worked as part of a larger team to provide expert witness advice for a mining client. The project involved supporting an objection lodged with the Warden’s Court in Western Australia. A road proposed by another party potentially impacted on the client’s mining operations. Robin’s work focused on characterising potential impacts of the road on local hydrology and surface water flow paths.
To protect client confidentiality, we haven’t named the client here nor given specific details of the project.
Aphrodite surface water assessment
24 Aug 2017
Bardoc Gold is developing the Aphrodite Gold Project , a proposed gold mine in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. The site is located 65 km north of Kalgoorlie. The Western Australia goldfields are one of Australia’s main gold producing regions.
Gold mineralisation was first discovered in the area in 1996. The project was acquired by Aphrodite Gold from Apex Minerals NL in 2009. The project was classified as a resource in 2011 and scoping studies undertaken in 2012/2013. Aphorodite Gold merged with Bardoc Gold in 2018.
Mining will be undertaken initially as an open cut pit followed possibly by underground mining. Active mining of the open pit is projected to be up to 3 years. Underground mining extends the mine life by another 3.5 years.
The project is undertaking prefeasibility and environmental impact assessment studies as part of development of the mine. These will lead into feasibility studies.
Lake Bryde Water Balance
31 Jul 2017
Lake Bryde is a high-value ecological wetland in the south west of Western Australia. The lake lies in the central wheatbelt near the town of Lake Grace, some 370 km south east of Perth. The catchment is located at the headwaters of the Lockhart River catchment which drains ultimately to the Avon River.
Lake Bryde is identified as a priority biodiversity asset. The lake bed is occupied by a threatened ecological community, dominated by Duma horrida subsp. abdita, and Tecticornia verrucosa.
Land clearing, largely since the 1960’s, has significantly altered the quantity and quality of water entering Lake Bryde with negative ramifications for the associated biodiversity values, in particular the lake bed vegetation.
The lake has been extensively studied over time. Monitoring for Lake Bryde and the broader catchment area has been undertaken by State Government organisations since 1979. A number of hydrological studies have been undertaken in the past, including the development of local and catchment-scale water balances and numerical models.
In this project, we developed a water balance model for the lake using Watbal. The Watbal model was developed originally by Adrian Peck. A version of Watbal has also been used to simulate the water and salt balance of Toolibin Lake. See our Tooliban Lake project description.
Ord Irrigation Area hydrology
20 Apr 2016
The Ord Irrigation Area is a large, highly productive agricultural area near Kununurra, Western Australia. The farms in the area receive water from Lake Argyle via a network of storages and channels.
Major components of the water supply for the Ord Irrigation Area – the Kununurra Diversion Dam and Lake Argyle – were completed between 1963 and 1972. The initial capacity of Lake Argyle was 5,641 GL. This was increased to 10,763 GL in 1996. As well as providing irrigation water, Lake Argyle contributes to local mining, fishing and tourism industries. A hydropower station generates electricity for local towns and industries.
Irrigation supply infrastructure has been progressively constructed since the 1970’s to allow development of irrigation farms. By 2010, most of the Ivanhoe Valley and Packsaddle Plains areas were developed, giving a total of 16,500 ha of irrigated land.
The Ord Irrigation Area Stage II expansion allowed development of a further 7,400 hectares on the Goomig (Weaber Plain) area. Further development is planned for the Knox Plain and Ord (West Bank) areas.
Crops grown include chickpeas, chia, red grapefruit, mangoes, melons, hybrid seeds and sandalwood.
More details of the Lake Argyle and the Ord Irrigation Area are given at the Lake Argyle website.
Toolibin Lake Water Balance
12 Feb 2016
Toolibin Lake is a high-value ecological wetland in the south west of Western Australia. The lake lies in the central wheatbelt, an important agricultural area. It is one in a chain of lakes of the Northern Arthur River system in the upper Blackwood River catchment.
The lake and surrounding reserve are an important breeding site for native flora and fauna. The site has been listed under the Ramsar convention as a wetland of International Importance.
Toolibin Lake is located in an area with low rainfall and high evaporation. The lake has a relatively small catchment and streamflow into the lake is variable and intermittent. There is a small outlet that only flows after large rainfall vents. Water ponded in the lake generally evaporates or is taken up by vegetation. The lake can be dry for extended periods of time.
The lake and catchment is affected by increased dry land salinity associated with clearing of native vegetation for agriculture. Increased salinisation of valley floors in the catchment has led to increased salinity in stormwater inflows to the lake. Local groundwater levels and salinity have risen over time.
A series of rectification measures have been implemented to help prevent impacts of salinization on the lake ecosystem. These include bores that lower the water table under the lake bed, diversion of saline low flows from part of the catchment around the lake and revegetation in parts of the catchment.
The hydrology, hydrogeology and ecosystems of the lake and its catchment have been extensively studied over time.
One of the models applied to the lake is Watbal. Watbal is a water and salt balance model for Toolibin Lake, developed originally by Adrian Peck. The model is coded into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and predicts lake water level and salinity on a monthly time step. The model was developed in 2002 and used to simulate the lake water balance from 1980-2000. The model and variations of it have been used in a number of studies since then.
Irvine Island Surface Water Assessment
29 Nov 2015
The Irvine Island Project is located on a small island off the northern Kimberley coast of Western Australia, about 130 km north of Derby. The proposed project involves mining of hematite iron ore, initial processing on the island then shipping of concentrate to Asia.
Irvine Island has a rich iron ore resource but is surrounded by sensitive marine environment. Substantial investigations were required as part of project planning and regulatory approval to ensure that the operations did not adversely affect the surrounding environment.
The prefeasibility study has been completed and environmental management investigations have been undertaken. Part of the environmental approvals required assessment of surface water.