Weeli Wolli Springs
On 1 July 2005 a 50 / 50 joint venture between Gina Rhinharts Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto Iron Ore commenced, paving the way for the development of the Hope Downs mine located 100km North West of the mining town of Newman, Western Australia. First production from the A$1.3 billion mine was achieved in November 2007 with first railing of ore over the new “Lang Hancock Railway” (named in honour of Lang Hancock) to Dampier achieved prior to Christmas 2007. The mine currently exports over 30 Mtpa with proven ore reserves of approximately 400 Mtpa.
The mine is located adjacent to a sensitive eco system known as the ‘Weeli Wolli Springs’, a system that affords rigorous monitoring by a number of environmental consultants as part of the Hope Downs Joint Venture’s stringent conditions of mining in this region. Mining Photography is just one of these consultants, initially engaged in November 2006 to document pre-mining conditions in the system, though continuing to monitor the site bi-annually whilst the mine is still active.
Our 30+ trips to Weeli Wolli Creek have seen us document the aftermath of some significant natural events including bushfires in 2007 and 2013 (pictured above) and cyclones in 2008. More importantly, the database of imagery illustrates the initial impact of dewatering in the Weeli Wolli Springs, and the subsequent revitalisation of this system through smart management by the mine’s environmental division.
Weeli Wolli Creek – Downstream of the Springs