BIF Ranges in the Northern Yilgarn Craton

Over the last ten years or more there has been an increase in exploration and mining for iron ore on banded ironstone formation (BIF) ranges within the Yilgarn Craton (divided in to the Midwest and Goldfields and predominantly covered by the Murchison and Coolgardie Bioregions1).  Prior to 2000, there was only one active iron ore mine in the Goldfields.  Now in 2012, there are ten active mines, four in the Goldfields and six in the Midwest.  

In 2007, the Strategic Review (2007) identified 29 BIF ranges in the Northern Yilgarn (or northern half of the Yilgarn Craton, going as far south as Southern Cross) that were being explored or mined for iron ore.  Now in 2012, there are 32 BIF ranges being explored or mined for iron ore as well as several low BIF ridges located off the main BIF ranges not included here. 

The BIF ranges listed below all have mining interests for iron ore (exploration/mining) and have been listed below under four headings; the Midwest/Goldfields, the Coolgardie/Murchison & other Bioregions, the Mt Manning Reserve and the Great Western Woodlands (GWW).  Most of the 32 BIF ranges will be on more than one list.

A complete list of BIF ranges (with or without mining interests) in the Northern Yilgarn or Yilgarn Craton is still in preparation.

 

BIF ranges in the midwest and goldfields

The Strategic Review (2007) and other reports refer to the BIF ranges in the Northern Yilgarn as either being located in the midwest or goldfields.  Those in the midwest include the most northern and western BIF ranges, located near Meekatharra, Murchison and Paynes Find.  BIF Ranges located in the Goldfields occur north of Southern Cross and west of Kalgoorlie.

Midwest BIF Ranges

Gullewa / Wolla Wolla Hills

Jack Hills (including Mt Hale, Mt Gould, Mt Taylor)

Koolanooka

Minjar Hill / Gnows Nest Range

Mt Dugal / Mt Nairn

Mt Karara (including Mungada Ridge, Blue Hills)

Mt Gibson (including Extension Hill, Extension Hill North)

Mt Forrest (including Twin Peaks)

Tallering Peak

Warriedar Hill (including Pinyalling) 

Weld Range 

Yalgoo

Six of these twelve BIF ranges in the Midwest are currently being mined (Jack Hills, Koolanooka South, Mt Gibson, Mt Karara, Tallering Peak and Yalgoo).

 

Goldfields BIF Ranges

Booylgoo Range

Bulga Downs

Carina (un-named low BIF ridges)

Cashmere Downs

Die Hardy Range (including Yokradine Hills, Mt Geraldine)

Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin)

Highclere Hills (Mayfield)

Hunt Range

Johnston Range

Koolyanobbing Range

Mt Dimer

Mt Elvire Range

Mt Finnerty Range

Mt Jackson Range

Mt Manning Range

Mt Richardson Range,

Perrinvale / Walling (on Perrinvale Station un-named range)

Robinson Range

Wiluna West

Windarling Range

Of the 20 BIF Ranges in the Goldfields, four are currently being mined (Koolyanobbing Range, Mt Jackson Range, Windarling Range, Carina).

 

BIF ranges in the Bioregions

The Yilgarn Craton covers a number of bioregions.  The two largest bioregions include the Murchison and Coolgardie Bioregions.  In the Murchison Bioregion Mulga trees tend to dominate and eucalypts are restricted to creek lines. By contrast, in the Coolgardie Bioregion eucalypts are usually present, with eucalypt trees and mallees on the BIF ranges, extensive eucalypt woodlands on the flats surrounding the BIF ranges, and mallees scattered through the broad sandplain heaths.

The number of Banded ironstone formation (BIF) ranges, within each of the bioregions, that have mining interests are: within the Murchison (10), Gascoyne (1), Yalgoo (6), Avon Wheatbelt (2) and Coolgardie (13)

BIF Ranges in the Murchison Bioregion

Booylgoo Range

Bulga Downs

Cashmere Downs

Jack Hills (including Mt Hale, Mt Gould, Mt Taylor)

Mt Dugel / Mt Nairn

Mt Forrest (including Twin Peaks)

Mt Richardson Range, 

Perrinvale / Walling (on Perrinvale Station un-named range)

Weld Range

Wiluna West

BIF Ranges in the Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion

Koolanooka

Mt Gibson

BIF Ranges in the Yalgoo Bioregion

Gullewa / Wolla Wolla Hill

Minjar Hill / Gnows Nest Range

Mt Karara (including Mungada Ridge, Blue Hills)

Tallering Peak (including Minjar, Gnows Nest)

Warridar Hill (including Pinyalling) 

Yalgoo

BIF Range in the Gascoyne Bioregion

Robinson Range

BIF Ranges in the Coolgardie Bioregion

Carina

Die Hardy Range (including Yokradine Hills)

Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin)

Highclere Hills (Mayfield)

Hunt Range

Johnston Range

Koolyanobbing Range

Mt Dimer

Mt Elvire Range

Mt Finnerty Range

Mt Jackson Range

Mt Manning Range

Windarling Range

 

 

BIF ranges within the Mt Manning Reserve

The Mt Mannng Reserve or proposed Northern Yilgarn (Mt Manning Range Nature Reserve, Mt Elvire and Jaurdi) Conservation Reserves (Issues Paper 2008) lies within both the Murchison and Coolgardie Bioregions, from Mt Elvire (north west of Menzies) to Lake Eva (east of Southern Cross) .  There are eight BIF ranges within the proposed Mt Manning Reserve.  These are;

Mt Manning Reserve BIF Ranges

Die Hardy Range (including Yokradine Hills, Mt Geraldine)

Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin)

Hunt Range

Johnston Range

Mt Elvire

Mt Finnerty Range (including Yendilberin Hills, Mt Walton, Watt Hills, Mt Walter)

Mt Jackson Range

Mt Manning Range

Windarling Range

 

Two of these eight BIF ranges are currently being mined (Windarling, Mt Jackson).  All have been or are currently being explored for iron ore.  

 

 

BIF ranges within the Great Western Woodlands

The Great Western Woodlands is situted in the southern half of the Yilgarn Craton and includes the Coolgardie Bioregion (The GWW boundary differs from the Coolgardie Bioregion boundary in several areas, in particular the southern boundary of the GWW follows the clearing/agriculural line).  The BIF ranges listed below for the GWW has been separated into those that occur in the Northern Yilgarn and those that occur south of Southern Cross in the includes those situated south of SouthernCross in the Southern Yilgarn.

Great Western Woodland BIF Ranges

Northern Yilgarn

Carina

Die Hardy Range (including Yokradine Hills, Mt Geraldine)

Helena and Aurora Range (including Bungalbin Hill)

Highclere Hills (Mayfield)

Hunt Range

Johnston Range

Koolyanobbing Range

Mt Dimer

Mt Finnerty Range (including Yendilberin Hills, Mt Walton, Watt Hills, Mt Walter)

Mt Jackson Range

Mt Manning Range

Windarling Range

Southern Yilgarn

Parker Range

 

 

 

 

 


Notes:

1 Bioregions refer to the Interim Biogeographical Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA).  These are based on areas of similar geology, landform, vegegation, fauna and climate. There are 26 bioregions in Western Australia (89 bioregions in Australia)

 


Source: Department of Environment and Conservation (2007) Banded ironstone formation ranges of the midwest and goldfields. Interim status report, Biodiversity values and conservation requirement. September 2007. In, Government of Western Australia (2008), Strategic review of the conservation and resource values of the banded iron formation of the Yilgarn Craton.

Information has been updated where possible in May 2012.  In advance, we give our apologies for any errors or information that is no longer current.