1. Mindarie Mineral Sands Project, South Australia, Australia +

Client – Murray Zircon Pty Ltd.
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – Murray Zircon’s Mindarie Mineral Sands mining project is located approximately 150 km east of Adelaide in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia. The project will extract up to 120, 000 tonnes of mineral concentrate per annum from eight strandlines within their leases.
Our Role – COOE has been providing secondment staff and specialist services to Murray Zircon (formerly Australian Zircon) since 2008. These include:

    • coordinating rehabilitation activities
    • weed management
    • interpretation and implementation of vegetation management plans

Recently a vegetation assessment was undertaken to assess the potential impact of mining on native vegetation at the site. The surveys used the point-centred quarter (PCQ) method to estimate canopy cover, abundance, species diversity, condition. In addition, data analysis, report writing and management recommendations were provided.
COOE have also undertaken the following:

    • landowner liaison
    • community consultation meetings
    • work with administrators and regulators including PIRSA to ensure Murray Zircon are meeting their obligations
    • ensuring that environmental compliance is maintained
    • site inspections including hydrocarbons, weeds, and dust
    • regulatory reports: Mining and Rehabilitation Compliance Report (MARCR), Annual Environment Reports (AER), Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR)
    • rehabilitation and closure reports
    • interpretation and implementation of site management plans
    • National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) reporting
    • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER)
    • audit of environmental management systems, plans contained within the Mine and Rehabilitation Program (MARP), resultant procedures and any forms or strategies stemming from that process.

 

2. Hillside Project, South Australia, Australia

Client – Rex Minerals Ltd
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – Rex Minerals is proposing to mine gold-copper deposits on their Hillside property on the Yorke Peninsula, approximately 10 km south of Port Ardrossan.
Our Role – COOE are currently assisting the client with the pre-feasibility and approvals stages of the project. This includes liaising with relevant government departments to assist the client with meeting standards and guidelines, as well as undertaking extensive field surveys to gather baseline data and establish long term monitoring sites.

Native vegetation surveys have been undertaken for Significant Environmental Benefits (SEB) calculations.
The data from all survey reports will contribute to the assessment of the environmental impact of proposed mining activities and the client to develop environmental management plans. Furthermore, the data has been used in the development of the Mine Lease Proposal (MLP) and the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) referral where the project was assessed as not having a controlled action. COOE will also assist the client with the development of the Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) process.
COOE has undertaken the following work:

    • coastal and inland flora surveys to determine the presence of threatened species
    • species composition, condition and density of seagrass communities
    • soil surveys to assess potential impacts on vegetation at mine closure
    • intertidal habitat and fauna distributions
    • fauna surveys which included pit fall traps, Elliot and cage traps, and bat monitoring
    • quarterly bird surveys along the coast, remnant vegetation and agricultural areas
    • significant environmental benefits (SEB) calculations
    • assessment of vegetation communities and condition
    • development of management and restoration plans.

COOE have, on behalf of Rex Minerals, liaised with relevant government departments to assist the client with meeting standards and guidelines.

All the required approvals for animal ethics and scientific research permits were acquired prior to commencement of the studies. Field data was recorded using datasheets designed by DEWNR. As a requirement for the various DEWNR permits; COOE submitted data of flora and fauna (including introduced/pest species) to the Biological Database of South Australia (BDBSA); and report to the Wildlife Ethics Committee.

3. Telfer Gold Mine, Pilbara, Western Australia

Client – Newcrest Mining Limited.
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – The Telfer operation in the Great Sandy Desert in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, is a fly-in-fly-out operation, mining gold and copper. For the 2012 financial year, Telfer produced 540,115 ounces of gold and 31,236 tonnes of copper.
Our Role – COOE has been providing environmental services to Newcrest since the site was recommissioned in 2005. Our services include:

    • rehabilitation monitoring including the use of Ecosystem Functional Analysis (EFA)
    • site rehabilitation
    • flora surveys along the 450 km gas pipeline to Port Hedland
    • weed management
    • soil trials, germination trials
    • historic tailings dams flora surveys.

4. Kanmantoo Mine, South Australia, Australia

Client – Hillgrove Resources
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – The Kanmantoo Copper Mine is located in the Adelaide Hills. The project mines copper and gold resources.
Our Role – COOE has been engaged to provide ongoing rehabilitation and general environmental work for the client. Our services include:

    • design of rehabilitation program
    • weed surveys and mapping
    • rehabilitation work consists of seed collection, tube stock planting, general environmental work includes pest and weed control
    • preparation of native vegetation management reports
    • rehabilitation trials to asses appropriate soils for future rehabilitation
    • implementation of rehabilitation trials
    • revegetation
    • site surveys
    • feral control mapping and counting.

5. Angus Zinc Mine, South Australia, Australia

Client – Terramin Australia Ltd.
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation, Professional Hire & Secondments
Assignment – The Angas Zinc Mine is located 2 km from Strathalbyn, South Australia. The mine is fully owned and operated by Terramin Australia. Production at the site commenced in 2008; and ends in zinc concentrate being trucked to Port Adelaide for shipment to Asia and lead-copper-gold-silver concentrate trucked to the Nyrstar owned Port Pirie lead smelter for further processing.
Our Role – COOE has provided environmental services to Terramin’s Angus Zinc Mine since 2005 in the companies approvals phase. COOE’s services include:

    • design of rehabilitation program
    • rehabilitation work consists of seed collection, tube stock planting, general environmental work includes pest and weed control
    • preparation of native vegetation management reports
    • rehabilitation trials to asses appropriate soils for future rehabilitation
    • harvest of rehabilitation seed and detailed yield weighing and logging to provide ongoing reports/recommendations
    • implementation of rehabilitation trials
    • revegetation
    • weed surveys and mapping
    • Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) surveys.

In addition, COOE have undertaken the following:

    • prepared Terramin’s Mining and Rehabilitation Plan (MARP), the first to be passed in South Australia
    • undertaken community consultation
    • maintaining on-going roles in the Terramin Adelaide office and Angas Zinc Mine to supply services
    • NPI reporting
    • data interpretation and reporting.

6. Curramulka Quarry, South Australia, Australia

Client – Hanson Heidelberg Cement
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – The Hanson Curramulka Quarry is located approximately 500 m south-west of Curramulka, near the centre of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The Curramulka Quarry is an open cut operation that has been extracting limestone and dolomite for use in the construction industry since 1979. The project was primarily to develop a Mining Lease Proposal (MLP) for the quarry to gain approval to expand the land area intended for mining purposes. The MLP will then form the basis for the Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR).
Our Role – The MLP is essentially an environmental impact assessment, involving compilation of information to adequately describe the existing environment in order to enable assessment of potential impacts of the operation. The MLP required meetings with government departments to address requirements and assisting the client during community consultation meetings.

    • Description of existing environment
    • Undertaking weed assessment for the site

In addition, COOE have undertaken the following for the Client:

    • literature and data review
    • compilation and interpretation of raw monitoring data (including from previous dust monitoring, noise and blast vibration monitoring)
    • community consultation to identify concerns of nearby residents, businesses and other stakeholders
    • initial risk assessment, incorporating issues raised at community consultation, examining direct and indirect impacts on the natural, social and economic environment
    • development of control and management measures
    • assessment of residual risk
    • identification of outcomes to be achieved
    • development of criteria to assess the outcomes against survey information.

7. Beverley Uranium Mine

Client – Heathgate Resources Pty Ltd
Services – Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Pest and Weed Management, Community Consultation
Assignment – Beverley Uranium Mine is located in the northeast of South Australia between the northern Flinders Ranges and Lake Frome. The current mining leases are subject to ongoing exploration and development.
Our Role – COOE undertook annual fauna surveys of the Beverley and Beverley North Mining Leases as part of their broader environmental monitoring program. The inherent aim of the monitoring plans is to detect potential impacts of the mine. The fauna surveys provide data that will help to build on the current knowledge base for the site, and enable past and future comparisons. The fauna survey, undertaken at already established sites, used recognised methods in accordance with the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH) vertebrate survey guidelines.

COOE undertook fauna monitoring involved pitfall traps, Elliot and cage traps, bird surveys and bat monitoring. The field data was collated and processed to generate a report.

All the required approvals for animal ethics and scientific research permits were acquired prior to commencement of the study. Field data was recorded using datasheets designed by DEWNR. As a requirement for the various DEWNR permits; COOE submitted data of flora and fauna (including introduced/pest species) to the Biological Database of South Australia (BDBSA); and report to the Wildlife Ethics Committee.

8. Wave Energy Converter, Port MacDonnell, South Australia

Client – Oceanlink Pty Ltd
Services – Marine and Coastal, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – Oceanlinx Ltd are seeking approval to install, grid connect and operate a 1MW wave energy converter offshore from Port MacDonnell, South Australia.
The project received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the manufacture, construction, installation and 12 months operation and environmental monitoring. The unit is designed for an operational life of 25 years. The device operates in a similar manner to an underwater sea cave and blow hole, with no moving parts below the water surface. The unit is a rigid structure and will operate unmanned.
Our Role – COOE are assisting the client with the pre-feasibility component of the project which includes field surveys and desktop assessments. The data acquired will be used in the project’s approvals process and ongoing operation. COOE assisted the client with the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) referral.

To date, COOE have undertaken several field surveys for the client including intertidal habitat and fauna surveys, supra-tidal flora survey, subtidal geophysical mapping and subtidal habitat mapping. These services include:

    • coastal flora species identification and distribution
    • photo-point monitoring
    • mapping the distribution of marine habitats around the proposed site
    • site assessment involving identification and distribution of coastal flora species.

Data acquired were used to provide site assessments for the suitability of the proposed project. Reports resulting from the field surveys will be used for development applications and proposals. Reports included recommendations for mitigation measures and also mid- to long-term monitoring plans.

9. Hindmarsh, Inman and Bungala Estuaries, South Australia, Australia

Client – Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – The project was undertaken to develop a regional monitoring and evaluation plan for the Hindmarsh, Inman and Bungala estuaries. The monitoring plan will monitor the long-term impact of actions undertaken as a result of the Estuary Action Plans, which were prepared for these estuaries in 2008.
Our Role – Baseline assessments were first undertaken to obtain information from the three target estuaries to guide the development of a long-term monitoring program. Baseline assessments at all three estuaries included:

    • rapid assessment of habitat using the Rapid Appraisal of Riparian Condition (RARC) methodology
    • site assessments of native flora and weed distributions
    • recording any sightings of significant native fauna and pest species
    • GIS mapping of the distribution of the swamp paperbark. The health of the trees were assessed using GIS polygons to determine a compactness ratio. Repeat surveys of the same areas will assess the population health of the trees.

Following from the baseline assessments data, analysis and technical papers were produced. Recommendations were made for vegetation management, especially for exotic species. The monitoring plan provided detailed rationales and methods for each of the recommended elements. The program took into account relevant compliance standards, for example, nationally agreed Estuarine, Coastal and Marine Resource Condition Indicators from the National Land and Water Resources Audit.

10. Coorong and Lower Lakes Restoration Project, Coorong, South Australia

Client – Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – The Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) is delivering a five year restoration project in the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region.
Our Role – As part of this overarching project, COOE was engaged to undertake a pilot study to monitor the impact of restoration activities already undertaken using Ecological Function Analysis (EFA) and some Bushland Condition Monitoring (BCM) components. The goal of the pilot project is to track trends towards the long term objectives of the restoration program. The monitoring assessed the resilience of the ecosystems surveyed and identified future challenges of the program. COOE’s services included:

    • Ecosystem Function Analysis (EFA) was undertaken at revegetation and reference sites
    • EFA was used to track the ecological and morphological changes at each location in particular to demonstrate that biodiversity and habitat structure is increasing and erosion is decreasing
    • vegetation assessments were an integral part of the study including Bushland Condition Monitoring (BCM) components.

To support the results obtained from vegetation surveys physical and chemical stability assessments were used to track the physical and chemical stability of the rehabilitated sites, in particular to demonstrate that no significant acid generation and metal mobilisation in the environment has occurred

The project included documentation and coordination of environmental investigations, data analysis, and interpretation of project designs, providing recommendations.

12. Title – Wave Energy Converter, Elliston, South Australia

Client – WaveRider Energy
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – Wave Rider Energy is to locate a Wave Rider pilot plant in the high energy waters off Locks Well Beach near Elliston, South Australia for up to 18 months. The Wave Rider project was referred to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The project was approved with conditions including the implementation of approved monitoring and management plans for both marine mammals and EPBC listed birds. In addition the South Australian Development Assessment Commission requires Wave Rider Energy to monitor the seafloor (benthic habitats) during the pilot project.
Our Role – On behalf of the client COOE will undertake various benthic environment, birds and marine mammals and acoustic surveys in the vicinity of the proposed project.
The work required to meet the monitoring program and marine environmental survey as outlined in the approvals process consisted of:

    • monitoring of birds during the towing phase
    • point count surveys of EPBC listed birds
    • behavioural observations of EPBC-listed cetaceans and pinnipeds
    • video monitoring and interpretation
    • benthic habitat surveys
    • above and below water noise monitoring
    • data collation and reporting.

In addition COOE provided technical support to the client and attended meetings with regulators and stakeholders as requested.

The information collected was submitted to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (DSEWPaC), the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) and the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to satisfy relevant legal and regulatory requirements including the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999, the Development Act 1993 and the Environment Protection Act 1993.

13. Lead Smelter, Port Pirie, South Australia

Client – Nyrstar
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – Located on the eastern shore of Spencer Gulf in South Australia, approximately 230 km north of Adelaide, the smelter has been in constant operation for more than 120 years. There is an adjacent dedicated port facility where concentrates are received, with final products dispatched by road and rail. Port Pirie is an integrated multi-metals recovery plant with the flexibility to process a wide range of lead rich concentrates and smelting industry by-products. Port Pirie is one of the world’s largest primary lead smelting facilities and the third largest silver producer, which allows it to generate significant economies of scale.
Our Role – Nyrstar commissioned COOE to develop and implement an annual 5 year Environmental Monitoring Program to provide Nyrstar with information on the health of key marine environmental indicators. This information can then be used to evaluate the effectiveness of Nyrstar’s environmental management systems. The program entailed the following:

    • develop and implement a marine-monitoring program that included assessing: concentration of metals in marine sediment and seston; metal accumulation in marine organisms; distribution, diversity and abundance of fouling organisms; seagrass, mangrove and samphire surveys; and thermal and salinity distribution patterns from creeks
    • vegetation surveys, revegetation planning and implementation
      provide temporary environmental support staff
    • investigate arsenical waste treatment options and assist in developing and implement a waste management program
    • develop a site water management plan
    • service and maintain air-monitoring equipment
    • model marine discharge water dilution gradients
    • auditing of environmental monitoring programs
    • design and implement a site rehabilitation program to reduce dust emissions and the site footprint

14. Desalination Plant, Port Bonython, South Australia

Client – BHP Billiton
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – In May 2009, BHP Billiton released an extensive Environmental Impact Statement for public comment. It revealed the detailed plans for the proposed construction and its future operation. Among the project’s new infrastructure requirements were: a desalination plant at Point Lowly (Port Bonython), a rail link to Pimba, a worker accommodation village between Olympic Dam and Andamooka and a barge landing facility near Port Augusta.

On 10 October 2011, State and Federal Government approvals for the mine expansion were finally granted. In order to meet the project’s increasing demand for water, the expansion proposed to construct a large-scale reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant at Point Lowly in Upper Spencer Gulf. The water would then be pumped north to the Olympic Dam mine site and Roxby Downs township.

Our Role – COOE were contracted to investigate the environmental impact of the proposed desalination plant in Port Bonython, South Australia. Specific projects included:

    • to design and implement a marine baseline survey for a proposed desalination plant
    • marine sediment chemistry analysis and measurements of mud depth to resistance
    • field surveys to evaluate the extent of larval entrainment in the Port Bonython pilot desalination plant, with a focus on commercially important and environmentally significant species
    • developing a methodology for sampling, identifying and estimating the abundance of selected larvae entrained within the BHP Billiton pilot desalination plant intake
    • design and undertake seasonal surveys of larvae entrainment.

15. Port Hedland Berth 1, Port Hedland, Western Australia

Client – Newcrest Mining Limited
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – Port Hedland is one of the busiest harbours in Australia by tonnage. Some of the many products exported are salt, manganese, iron ore, copper concentrate, kaolin and livestock.
Our Role – COOE were commissioned to establish a monitoring program for monitoring metals in sediment and marine organisms at Berth 1 in Port Hedland. Project objectives included:

    • monitoring the accumulation of metals in marine sediment and fauna that may be associated to the loading activities of Telfer concentrate in port headland
    • undertaking baseline surveys for marine impacts at the Port Hedland concentrate loading facility
    • identifying environmental indicators for comparative purposes
    • outlining a monitoring program that will allow Newcrest Mining to demonstrate to its stakeholders that its environmental management practices at the Port Hedland concentrate loading operations are working as intended.

16. Bitterns Impact Assessment, Port Hedland, Western Australia

Client – Rio Tinto, Dampier Salt Ltd
Services – Marine and Coastal, Flora and Fauna, Planning and Compliance, Community Consultation
Assignment – Dampier Salt is a world leader in the reliable supply of high quality solar salt. Salt production involves extracting seawater (the primary resource for Dampier and Port Hedland) or naturally occurring underground brines (at Lake MacLeod) and then using the evaporative power of the sun and the wind to crystallise pure sodium chloride salt in a series of ponds called crystallisers.
Our Role – COOE were requested to develop an environmental systems model that connects the operation with the marine and intertidal zones about the bitterns storage and bitterns discharge area. COOE was commissioned to:

    • provide a framework for the determination of effective monitoring of potential impacts
    • provide feedback into the management of the operation so that potential impacts can be managed
    • evaluate the impact of bitterns discharge on the coastal and marine environment and to identify a way forward to increase the level of understanding in the way bitterns interacts with these ecosystems.