BIG HOLE: Damage at Gibihi rd, Dawson mine near Moura after a routine blast went wrong in November last year.
BIG HOLE: Damage at Gibihi rd, Dawson mine near Moura after a routine blast went wrong in November last year. Anglo American

CQ mine road saga continues, no result in sight

AN alternative route to the controversial Gibihi Rd appears no where in sight now six months after a mine blast split the haul road.

Cracks stretching 60 to 90 metres emerged in the the Dawson Mine road, Moura, on November 9 after vibration from the routine blast triggered "rapid rock movement and subsequent cracking".

Third-party consulting engineers GHD independently assessed the damage and declared it impossible re-open or create an alternative within the current Gibihi Rd reserve, according to a Banana Shire Council media statement released today.

Banana Shire mayor Nev Ferrier said it was a complex issue and the Banana Shire Council has been doing their best to rectify the situation.

"As advised at the recent community update, council is in regular contact with Anglo American in regards to finalising a long-term solution in the event that Gibihi Rd was not able to be reinstated," Cr Ferrier said.

"Council will now conduct meetings with the company over the next two weeks to finalise a long-term replacement road plan and solution based on the geotechnical assessments and community feedback.

"Until the permanent solution is completed, the interim traffic management and road condition monitoring and improvements that have been put in place on the alternative routes will continue."

 

John Eden took these aerial photographs of Gibihi Rd, Moura on March 18, showing the extent of the damage.
John Eden took these aerial photographs of Gibihi Rd, Moura on March 18, showing the extent of the damage. John Eden

An alternative route for the haul road has become the point of controversy between Moura community members, the Banana Shire Council and mine owner, Anglo American.

During a public meeting on February 21 the company stated they would continue to use the haul road to the south of the existing Gibihi Rd formation "under a regime of strict monitoring of ground movement in the area".

GHD's report assessed potential alternative routes, but concluded "no alternative route can be located within the current Gibihi Road reserve with an adequate factor of safety for a public road".

This finding aligns with the requirements of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Geotechnical Design Standard.

Summarised findings from the report found:

. The plotted safety exclusion zone for a factor of safety of 1.5 associated with the block shift failure extends some 250 metres south from the failure and is located within private property under the mining lease.

. The excavation of the southern pit excavation some 85m below the Gibihi Road formation pushes the safety exclusion zone just to the south of Gibihi Rd formation.

. Planned future mining activity to the west of the current southern pit excavation has the potential to influence any possible alternative routes in the Gibihi Rd corridor.

. The overlapping of the safety exclusion zones of the block shift failure and the mining operations precludes the construction of an alternate alignment for Gibihi Road.

The final recommendation states: "Given the stability of the corridor between the block shift failure and the mining operations have a factor of safety less than 1.5, further investigation of an alternative road alignment is not recommended within the road reserve for Gibihi Road."

GIBIHI RD:

  • Closed since November 9
  • Cracks extend 60 to 90 metres
  • Current alternative route is Kianga, about four times the distance for some
  • Road options included Kianga Rd, Haul bypass rd, Northern Link through CHPP mine, new Three Chain rd


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