What’s the fuss?


THE KIMBERLEY COAST and its immediate inland areas is one of the great natural environments on earth. It is little known due to its inaccessibility and isolation.

A major liquefied natural gas processing plant is in the advanced stages of planning for the Kimberley coast in the far north-west of Western Australia by Woodside Energy Ltd..  to learn more see what is going on at James Price Point?

Browse Basin


The Kimberley and Browse Basin. Image © 2009 Save The Kimberley. Press image for enlargement.

Significant other oil and gas exploration activity is occurring beneath the sea floor in an area known as the Browse Basin – a geological area on the sea floor – just off the Kimberley coast. There is a likelihood that further proposals will be tendered for other Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facilities in the medium-term. The possibility of gas development in what is a pristine wilderness area has stimulated significant mining interest in Kimberley coastal areas that are equally untouched, beautiful and home to a great number of restricted, vulnerable and/or endangered species.

Some of Australia’s most spectacular natural scenery has been applied for by mining companies in anticipation that proposals for onshore gas processing and distribution will proceed.

Areas such as the Horizontal Waterfall, the Buccaneer Archipelago, Montgomery Reef, Mount Trafalgar and Mount Waterloo, the magnificent gorges of the Roe and Moran Rivers have all been pegged by the mining companies.

Significant other large-scale industrial proposals appear to be in the advanced planning stages for the Kimberley or are moving toward development. These include:

    1. The establishment of two bauxite mines in the North Kimberley

One mine is proposed at Mt Leeming near Kalumburu and one on the Mitchell Plateau. These will include new power stations, airstrips, construction camps and permanent communities, high voltage powerlines, bitumen roads and other accompanying infrastructure.

    1. The establishment of two major Port facilities

One proposed facility is at or near Port Warrender on Admiralty Gulf on the Mitchell Plateau and one at Deep Bay near Kalumburu in Napier Broome Bay. These will require the dredging of major shipping channels and turning basins and the construction of wharves, ship loaders and conveyer facilities.

    1. An alumina smelter

Proposed sites for this include the Mitchell Plateau, two sites near Broome and Point Torment near Derby. This will require significant water resources and is contingent upon the development of onshore gas processing facilities.

    1. A 200,000 tonne per year zinc mine at Admiral Bay south of Broome

Admiral Bay is thought to contain the world’s largest undeveloped zinc deposit.

    1. Iron ore mining

The establishment of an iron ore mine at Irvine Island in the Buccaneer Archipelago near Cockatoo and Koolan Islands. This appears not to be contingent upon onshore gas.

A zinc smelter is also considered to be a realistic possibility for Admiral Bay south of Broome, once the zinc mine is operational. This is contingent upon onshore gas.