The Pardoo mine: Closure planning, implementation and five years of performance monitoring data

S. Gregory, S. Mackenzie and B. Bow

The Pardoo mine, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, is owned by Atlas Iron Pty Ltd. Mining commenced in October 2008 and reserves were depleted in 2013. The project consisted of 11 open pits, six waste rock landforms and mining infrastructure. This paper describes the risks to closure that were identified for the project and the investigations and stakeholder engagement that Atlas undertook to mitigate these risks. The closure works that were undertaken and the results of five years of performance monitoring data. Rehabilitation performance is contrasted against agreed closure criteria. This represents the halfway mark of the planned 10-year monitoring period. Detailed closure planning commenced in 2010 and was initiated using a risk assessment workshop to identify all closure risks. The highest risk events for closure of the project included a poor revegetation outcome and failure of engineered structures. To mitigate these risks, and others, Atlas undertook a series of targeted closure investigations to ensure that knowledge gaps were filled, and appropriate control mechanisms were implemented. This work facilitated the development of the detailed mine closure plan (MCP), which was submitted and approved in 2013. Closure works were implemented according to the MCP between late 2013 and early 2014. Closure performance has now been assessed for five years and closure criteria developed for the project have already been met in some areas. The early success of closure works at the project was attributed to the identification of key risks, investigations which closed key knowledge gaps, stakeholder engagement being conducted early in the closure planning process and high-quality closure works.

Gregory, S., Mackenzie, S. & Bow, B. (2019). The Pardoo mine: closure planning, implementation and five years of performance monitoring data. In A. B. Fourie & M. Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth (pp. 457-470).

Conference paper
Atlas Iron and Mine Earth
Iron ore
The Pardoo mine: Closure planning, implementation and five years of performance monitoring data