Weipa and Amrun sustainable sediment management assessment and dredging approvals

Environmental approvals and services
North Queensland Bulk Ports

What Swash did

  • Swash was engaged by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) to project manage the delivery of all necessary sustainable sediment management assessment reports, environmental risks assessments, management and monitoring plans and public information packages.
  • These studies included:
    • Bathymetric analysis
    • Sediment budgets
    • Engineering and technical solutions
    • Comprehensive beneficial reuse
    • Environmental values assessment
    • Onshore pond and reclamation assessment
    • Economic impact assessment
    • Environmental risk assessment
    • Sediment resuspension and dredge plume modelling
    • Sediment characterisation
    • Environmental thresholds
    • Dredging environmental management plans
    • Infographics summary and information package
    • Permit applications.
  • These works led to NQBP’s and Rio Tinto Australia Weipa’s successful attainment of 10-year Sea Dumping Permits from the Commonwealth regulator (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE)) for the Ports of Weipa and Amrun respectively.

About the project

In 2021, NQBP received Commonwealth permits to continue annual maintenance dredging program at the Port of Weipa.

The 10-year Sea Dumping Permit, issued by DAWE, carries conditions that protect the marine environment. It allows for the placement of up to 10,810,000 m3 of maintenance dredge material at the Albatross Dredge Material Placement Area (DMPA) until 30 January 2031.

This allows for the long-term, sustainable management of maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa and will safeguard the efficient operations of NQBP’s only trading port on the west coast of Queensland.

NQBP’s assessment reports found the risks to sensitive marine environments as a result of the maintenance dredging were predominantly low when managed appropriately.

Maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa is essential for maintaining port infrastructure and export capacity.

NQBP also undertook parallel studies and risk assessments for Amrun port and river facilities to support RTA Weipa’s 10-year Sea Dumping Permit application.

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