Fortescue Metal Group own and operate four iron ore mines in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The region has an arid subtropical climate with highly variable rainfall that is seasonally impacted by monsoonal activity and tropical cyclones (Bureau of Meteorology; WA Govt). Understanding, and mitigating against, the impacts of flooding in this region is critical for Fortescue’s operations and infrastructure.


Assess flood impacts on critical mining infrastructure and recommend mitigation strategies.





Water Technology completed flood modelling support for Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The project involved Water Technology staff working within Fortescue’s Perth offices in a secondment style arrangement. Fortescue’s mining operations include large open pits and raised haul roads that are significantly impacted by the creeks flowing from the Chichester Ranges into the Fortescue Marsh. Tasks included developing detailed flood models to quantify and mitigate the impacts of flooding on infrastructure and to minimise changes to the overall hydrological regime.

Quantify and mitigate the impacts of flooding

The flood modelling support included large scale TUFLOW rain-on-grid hydraulic models along with smaller, more detailed models for the design of culvert and floodway structures. Water Technology staff were able to improve Fortescue’s flood modelling techniques and processes to increase the efficiency and reliability of future flood impact assessments. The scope of work also including reviewing and applying Pilbara hydrology techniques developed specifically for the region.

Key Services Provided:

  • Catchment Hydrology – Review, modelling and analysis
  • Rain-on-grid Hydraulic Modelling with TUFLOW
  • Flood impact assessment
  • Flood Risk Mapping
  • Waterway and Flood Infrastructure Modelling and Assessment

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