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Hope Downs 4 Railway Construction Water Supplies, Pilbara, WA

Hope Downs 4 Railway Construction Water Supplies, Pilbara, WA

Calibre Rail (CBR) carried out a Detailed Engineering Study for the construction of a railway link between the eastern end of the existing Lang Hancock Railway and the proposed Hope Downs 4 iron ore mine.

The Hope Downs 4 Railway (HD4R) will be approximately 56 km long and will include the construction of two bridges. Construction of the HD4R requires water supplies for construction work, dust suppression and other activities and the water is planned to be sourced from aquifer units along the length of the HD4R.

RPS was engaged by Calibre Rail in 2010 to undertake an initial desk study to evaluate the potential for finding groundwater supplies along the HD4R route and at Bellbird and Falcon sidings and ten potential drilling areas were nominated and ground truthed. Following the desk study the water requirements were reviewed and it was confirmed by Calibre Rail that only three bores were required to supplement the existing bores and due to approvals, drilling could only take place in three work areas within areas deemed to be existing cleared areas.

RPS was engaged in 2011 to review the available areas and oversee the water bore installation. The field program took place over a three month period and comprised exploration drilling, production bore installation and test pumping. During this time a total of three production bores were installed along the railway route and test pumped to evaluate the hydraulic characteristics. An assessment of the likely environmental impacts was also undertaken and they were predicted to be minimal.

A hydrogeological report was prepared to support the amendment of the 5C Groundwater Well Licence to take Groundwater to include the new production bores. The report’s recommendations have been accepted by the regulators and the 5C licence has been granted.

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