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Preparing A Mine For Both Drought And Flood - A Vulnerability And Adaptive Capacity Study

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Published: September 17Project Number: C21041

Get ReportAuthor: Jane Hodgkinson, Micaela Grigorescu, Habib Alehossein | CSIRO

This report describes a method developed to assess a mine's vulnerability to extreme weather conditions and its adaptation options and capacity to adapt in order to reduce vulnerability. This method has been named CRATER (Climate Related Adaptation from Terrain Evaluation Results).

The project was specifically designed to develop the decision making method, rather than to inform a single mine on how to adapt to reduce climate risk. This report mainly focuses on the method, with some descriptive results and discussion.

Using CRATER, we have identified potential highest vulnerability areas ('hot-spots') for flood around the mine site, where early adaptation may be best focussed to reduce downtime and vulnerability. The 3-step approach uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to perform:

· Multi-criteria evaluations by ranking natural conditions such as elevation, slope, drainage and soils, at the mine;

· Fault tree analysis to identify the reasons a failure occurs and the counter measures or adaptation option that are available; and

· Capitals analysis to assess the mines capacity to adapt using each adaptation option.

The case-study at a mine site in the Bowen Basin has provided mine data and expertise for this project. The method was tested for flood as this type of event appears to have the most immediate (short notice) impact but could be applicable to any kind of extreme event including long-term or slow-to-develop drought conditions. The data was used primarily for the stage 1 of the three-part process to provide maps of areas that are most vulnerable ('hot-spot' maps). The following two stages were more 'generic' to avoid giving a mine-specific view of the method and to protect the mine's confidential knowledge and information.

The method presented in this report has focussed specifically on flood events. However, to incorporate or assess specifically for drought events, the same method can be used by augmenting the GIS data with a map of potential dust sources and locations that dust clouds form, for example, in addition to alternative water storage locations that can be accessed in an emergency, including in the event of a fire.

This project has provided a framework that has been tested on and is now available to the Australian coal mining industry; the method will allow a mine to reduce climate or weather-related vulnerabilities in the future, in addition to reducing vulnerability to infrastructure, people, downtime and revenue. The method provides semi-quantitative information that can assist decision makers when designating investment for adaptation and improvement options for climate-related vulnerability reduction. It would be useful for assessing suitable sites for infrastructure at the pre-mining phase and can be re-run with new GIS data as mining progresses and the site is developed. Further developments of this method are required to re-test and refine the method and expand the areal extent of analysis to include multiple mine sites and mine to wash plant, port and ultimately, the client.

e-newsletters ACARP Matters 31 and ACARP Matters 34 have also been published for this project, highlighting its significance for the industry.

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