The Hera Project is a gold, silver, lead and zinc mine, along with a processing plant and related ancillary infrastructure.
OzArk EHM was involved in completing the initial surveys and reporting required to assess the scientific values present. The impact area is a 1,532 hectare area proposed for the operation of the Hera Mine.
Extensive flora surveys were undertaken, using scientifically approved methods and involved using quadrats and transects . Fauna surveys included spotlighting, dedicated bird surveys and herptofauna searches, Elliot and Pitfall trapping, Anabat detection, call playback and incidental observations.
The results of the ecological assessment have been used in the development approval process.
Now that the mine is operational, OzArk carries out annual ecological and biodiversity monitoring on non-operational land. Long-term data will be analysed to see trends and population/density changes over time.
OzArk is working with the Central West Local Land Services (CW LLS) to assess the impact of cultural burning in travelling stock routes. Prior to burning commencing, and in conjunction with local Aboriginal representatives, OzArk Archaeologists carried out an Aboriginal archaeological assessment. Seven Aboriginal sites were identified and management recommendations provided.
OzArk Ecologists also worked with CW LLS staff before burning to determine baseline ecological data. Post-burn assessment is undertaken to be able to analyse data and determine the ecological impact of cultural burns. This is an on-going project with regular monitoring important to ensure replication and robust data analysis. CW LLS hope to apply the results across other travelling stock routes.
The Dubbo Zirconia Project (DZP) comprises the development, mining and processing of zirconium, niobium and rare earth element resources located near Toongi, approximately 25km south of the town of Dubbo.
OzArk carried out both archaeological and ecological impact assessment for a 2,500 ha study area, with an 800 ha impact footprint. This information was used for the Environmental Impact Statement required for development approval.
The heritage fieldwork component included surface survey and test-excavation, and required 90 person days. Representatives from the Registered Aboriginal Parties attended the fieldwork. 52 sites were identified in the study area, 33 of which were newly recorded.
OzArk EHM was involved with all aspects of assessing the scientific values, from field work through to numerous meetings with Aboriginal stakeholders, the project team and government regulators. OzArk was able to provide a detailed set of recommendations for this large study area that met the requirements of the government regulators and the approval of both the proponent and the Registered Aboriginal Parties.
One finding from the initial ecological fieldwork was the presence of the threatened species “Pink-tailed Worm-lizard” Aprasia parapulchella . OzArk has now designed and implemented an on-going monitoring plan for the Pink-tailed Worm-Lizard prior to the construction and operation of the mine. This will allow translocation to occur for specimens found within the mine impact zone. Annual monitoring occurs after appropriate weather conditions are present.
In-conjunction with the Pink-tailed Worm-Lizard monitoring, OzArk has begun monitoring the vegetation in the same sites to determine any association with vegetation structure and presence/absence of the species.
OzArk continues to work closely with the client to determine the best monitoring options available to meet approval requirements.