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Fortescue Metals Group

Subterranean Ecology provides troglofauna, stygofauna and SRE services to Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). FMG is the third largest iron ore mining company in Australia with a turnover exceeding $5.54 billion, and plans to increase extraction from 128 Mtpa to 155 Mtpa in June 2013.

FMG Solomon Project

Subterranean Ecology undertook the stygofauna (and troglofauna) survey and assessment for FMG’s landmark Solomon Project which plans to mine 60 million tonnes of iron ore per annum over a minimum 20 year life of mine. The project is located in an ecologically and culturally sensitive region where initial field surveys recorded a high diversity of troglofauna and stygofauna species in the Solomon channel iron deposits.
Troglofauna
The scale of the operation involved mining most of the channel iron deposits comprising habitat for subterranean fauna, while a number of species were detected only from the deposits to be mined and thus considered to be at risk.

Despite the presence of several rare species known only from inside the mine impact area, Subterranean Ecology demonstrated to the EPA that this was a consequence of the natural rarity of most troglofauna species, and that they were likely to be found in similar habitats nearby and outside the mine impact area.

The Solomon Project was assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority via Public Environmental Review and the project was approved in 2010.
Pilbara Landscape