Goldfields Environmental Management Group 2014 Workshop

Goldfields Environmental Management Group


2014 Workshop in Kalgoorlie, 21-23 May 2014


Abstract of Paper presented by Brian Moyle,

Wildflower Society of Western Australia (Inc) on 21 May 2014


Helena and Aurora: Too precious to Mine



It has been established the Helena and Aurora Range in the Yilgarn north of Southern Cross has a concentration of conservation values that, for its size, is one of the more significant biodiversity assets in Western Australia. It is also a Jewel in the Crown of the Great Western Woodlands with its unique flora, fauna and landscape values. None of the Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) ranges of the Yilgarn are protected in a National Park. 

Western Australia has a massive iron ore industry in the Pilbara and Karijini National Park, originally Hamersley Range National Park, was proclaimed in 1969. It has amazing landscape values but not endemic flora values like the Helena and Aurora Range. It is in the latter that the specific geochemistry and lithology allows habitats for unique vegetation and flora. 

The iron mineral-bearing formations in the Yilgarn are tiny in comparison to the Pilbara. They have high value for biodiversity, landscape, geoheritage, recreation and tourism. Mining an area such as the Helena & Aurora Range would only serve to reinforce the “Quarry State” mentality of Western Australia and the lack of regard for intergenerational equity. A case is made by comparing and contrasting Karijini National Park with the Helena and Aurora Range for a BIF National Park in the Yilgarn. 


There was also a paper presented by Keren Raiter based on her PhD research in the Great Western Woodlands

Looking at the ecological impacts of mining developments not usually considered in conventional impact evaluations whicah attracted considerable attention. Keren is looking at the cumulative impacts of exploration tracks, drill pads and mining projects on (a) predator activity across the landscape and (b) landscape water movement.