Fortescue Metals Group plans to close the Green, Cocos, and Brampton waste rock dumps to fulfill its long-term rehabilitation objectives and meet completion criteria developed in conjunction with stakeholders as part of an overall mine closure plan. The objectives are designed to establish the agreed-upon land uses, which include conservation of native vegetation, water quality protection, traditional land use, and recreation.

The Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek sites are located to the north of Fortescue Marsh in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In support of closure activities at the sites, Fortescue Metals Group selected Tetra Tech to provide technical services related to the closure topography and landform of the waste rock facilities.

In 2012 Tetra Tech developed a design guide with Fortescue Metals Group for closure of the waste rock facilities planned to be closed in situ. The design guide includes requirements for mine planning, waste rock facility site selection, environmental baseline data, surface water management, landform design, groundwater management, and revegetation requirements. The design guide our team developed provides a quantitative, risk-based approach to ensure the design meets design stability and environmental objectives. 

International specialists within Tetra Tech who have experience in closing mine sites are collaborating to deliver an innovative design for closure.

This scope of work included the Green, Cocos, and Brampton waste rock facilities, which total approximately 110 hectares.

Indigenous Involvement

Fortescue Metals Group is committed to providing sustainable business opportunities for Aboriginal peoples through the Billion Opportunities program. They awarded this project to program member Nyiyaparli Engineering Mine Maintenance Service in a joint venture with WPH, for whom Tetra Tech Proteus was a subcontractor. Fortescue Metals Group identified involving the indigenous community in the rehabilitation of the waste rock facilities as a significant opportunity to develop the program.

Tetra Tech has long history of working cooperatively with Aboriginal peoples around the world. This is reflected in memorandums of understanding and joint venture agreements with several aboriginal communities. These agreements emphasize for-profit, business-based partnership relationships, employment opportunities, training, and capacity building for community members.