Telfer Mine Various Projects

Client: Newcrest Mining Limited
Location: Telfer, WA
Start Date: September 2003
End Date: June 2006
Value: $60+ million

Brierty was initially contracted in September 2003 to provide stabilisation to 84 floodways of the Telfer Access Road. Newcrest Mining opted to engage Brierty Contractors as its major civil contractor for the infrastructure upgrade.

Works at Telfer comprised of:

  • Construction of Stage 1 the tailings dam involving approximately 1,000,000m3;
  • Plant siteworks earthworks – 1,200,000m3 cut/fill/borrow for 1,500,000m2;
  • Reconstruction and maintenance of the access road – Section 43 – 64km;
  • 21km section bridged using 100,000m3 imported mine waste and base course material;
  • Installation of 13 box culverts including culverts that consisted of 12 barrel 900 x 1200 and 10 barrel 1200 x 1200;
  • Temporary work platform across lakes created by a cyclonic deluge. This was necessary to provide access to the Telfer mine site when the existing road was completed devastated and inundated. Works included import and placement of 45,000m3 mine waste, 10,000m3 gravel, 24,000m3 sand and 150,000m2 geotextile;
  • Telfer Gas Pipeline – foundation works for the remaining 20km Telfer section; and
  • Ongoing maintenance of unsealed access road – 117km

Works were completed on the huge tailings dam and civil activities were scaling down when a cyclone moved across the Pilbara. Flooding devastated the 140km road preventing access into Telfer. With no other route into the mine site, delivery trucks queued at the edge of what had become an enormous lake up to a metre in depth. Over 25kms of this vital link was under water and the Brierty Contractors’ construction team worked long hours with Newcrest Mining to bridge the road.

This required large amounts of imported material being placed in the water to provide a platform. It was not possible to build a trafficable road in the short term and delivery trucks were towed through the water logged desert using earthmoving equipment. The problem was exacerbated by lack of natural drainage and it took some months for floodwaters to subside through evaporation and soakage. Operations were constantly hampered by further rainfall providing Telfer with its wettest winter in history.