Midwest corporation limited



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MIDWEST CORPORATION LIMITED  

(MIDWEST) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VEGETATION AND FLORA 

ASSESSMENT, KOOLANOOKA 

  

 

 

 

VERSION 1 

 

MARCH 2004 

 

REPORT NO: 2004/23 

ATA Environmental 

_______________________________________________________________________________ 



________________________________________________________________________________ 

MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Flora & Vegetation Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1 

1.1 Project 

Scope ..................................................................................................... 1 

1.2  Study Area Location and Land Use ................................................................... 1 

2. 


STUDY AREA DESCRIPTION ........................................................................... 2 

2.1 Physical 

Environment ........................................................................................ 2 

2.1.1 Climate ....................................................................................................... 2 

2.1.2 Geology...................................................................................................... 2 

2.1.3 Landforms .................................................................................................. 3 

2.2 Biological 

Environment ..................................................................................... 3 

2.2.1 Vegetation .................................................................................................. 3 

3. 


VEGETATION AND FLORA SURVEY ............................................................. 5 

3.1 Methodology ...................................................................................................... 5 

4. SURVEY 

RESULTS ............................................................................................. 7 

4.1 Vegetation 

Types ............................................................................................... 7 

4.2  Threatened Ecological Communities ............................................................... 14 

4.3 Flora ................................................................................................................. 15 

4.4 Significant 

Flora............................................................................................... 15 

4.5 Weeds............................................................................................................... 17 

5. DISCUSSION 

AND 

CONCLUSIONS ............................................................... 18 



REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 19 

 

FIGURES 



 

PLATES 


 

APPENDICES 

 

 

 



ATA Environmental 

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MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Flora & Vegetation Assessment, Koolanooka 

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Version 1: 26 March 2004 



LIST OF FIGURES 

 

1.

 



Regional Location 

 

2.



 

Aerial Photo 

 

3.

 



Vegetation Types and Locations of Priority Listed Flora 

 

4.



 

Vegetation Types Corresponding with CALM’s Description of the TEC 

 

 

 



LIST OF PLATES 

 

1.  Closed Tall Scrub dominated by Acacia assimilis subsp.  assimilis, 



Allocasuarina campestris and Melaleuca filifolia over Herbland of mixed 

species and bare ground 

 

2. 


Closed Heath to Tall Open Scrub dominated by Acacia acuminata, Acacia 

aneura, Grevillea intregrifolia and  Melaleuca cordata over Herbland of 

Cephalipterum drummondii, Xanthosia bungei, Podolepis lessonii 

 

3. 



Open Woodland to Shrub Mallee of Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp. ebbanoensis 

over a Tall Open Shrubland to Tall Open Scrub of Acacia acuminata, Acacia 



exocarpoides, Acacia tetragonophylla, Hakea preissii and  Melaleuca filifolia 

with scattered Allocasuarina huegeliana over a herbland dominated by Ptilotus 



obovatus var. obovatus 

 

4.  Open Heath of Aluta appressa, Aluta aspersa subsp.  hesperia, Acacia 



acuminata  and  Acacia assimilis subsp.  assimilis  over an Open Herbland of 

Borya sphaerocephala. Waitzia acuminata subsp.  acuminata, Brunonia 

australis and Glischrocaryon aureum with large areas of bare open ground 

 

5. 



Closed Tall Scrub of Acacia acuminata and  Acacia assimilis subsp.  assimilis 

over large areas of bare ground 

 

6. 


Tall Shrubland dominated by Acacia acuminata and Allocasuarina campestris  

 

7. 



Very Open Tree Mallee to Low Open Woodland Eucalyptus oldfieldii subsp. 

oldfieldii and Allocasuarina huegeliana on buckshot iron 

 

8. 



Tall Open Scrub of Grevillea intregrifolia, Grevillea paradoxa, Acacia assimilis 

subsp.  assimilis and Eremophila clarkei with scattered Eucalyptus leptopoda 

over a stony surface 

 

9. 



Tree Mallee of Eucalyptus leptopoda over  Acacia erinaceae dominated Low 

Shrubland over Herbland of Ptilotus obovatus subsp. obovatus and annual 

daisies and/or bare ground 

 

10.  Tall Shrubland of Allocasuarina campestris on stony, bare ground 



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11.  Closed Trees Mallee to Tree Mallee of Eucalyptus leptopoda and Allocasuarina 

campestris over an Open Shrubland of Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilis, Acacia 

erinaceae, Grevillea intregrifolia, Santalum acuminatum and Eremophila 

clarkei 

 

12.  Open to Very Open Tree Mallee of Eucalyptus kochii subsp.  plenissiama over 



Tall Open Scrub Acacia tetragonophylla, Acacia acuminata, Melaleuca filifolia 

and Senna artemisioides subsp. helmsii with scattered Allocasuarina huegeliana 

 

13. Open 



Woodland 

of 


Allocasuarina huegeliana over Tall Open Scrub dominated 

by  Acacia acuminata, Melaleuca filifolia and  Melaleuca uncinata over a 

Herbland dominated by Borya sphaerocephala 

 

14.  Closed Heath dominated by Aluta maisonneuvei, Aluta appressa and Acacia 



assimilis subsp. assimilis 

 

15.  Tall to Tall Open Shrubland dominated by Acacia acuminata and  Acacia 



aneura with scattered Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp. loxophleba 

 

16.  Tall Shrubland of Acacia tetragonophylla, Acacia acuminata, Acacia 



exocarpoides and Hakea preissii on bare ground 

 

17.  Tall Shrubland to Tall Open Scrub of Allocasuarina acutivalvis subsp. 



prinsepiana and Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilis  

 

18. Tall 



Shrubland 

Hakea preissii on bare ground 

 

19.  Tall Open Shrubland dominated by Acacia acuminata 



 

20.  Shrubland dominated by Acacia exocarpoides on granite outcrop 

 

21.  Tall Open Shrubland of Acacia ramulosa var. ramulosa on stony, bare ground 



 

22.  Tall Shrubland of Mixed Acacia  sp. with scattered Eucalyptus loxophleba 

subsp. loxophleba on bare ground 

 

23.  Open Shrubland of Acacia acuminata, Acacia ramulosa var. ramulosa and 



Acacia tetragonophylla. 

 

24.  Tall Shrubland of Acacia acuminata, Allocasuarina campestris and Melaleuca 



leiocarpa 

 

25.  Shrubland to Closed Tall Scrub of Acacia assimilis subsp.  assimilis, Acacia 



ramulosa var. ramulosa, Grevillea intregrifolia 

 

26.  Open Tree Mallee of Eucalyptus eudesmioides   



 

27.  Tall Shrubland to Open Shrubland dominated by Acacia assimilis subsp. 



assimilis, Acacia burkitii, Acacia resinosa, Grevillea intregrifolia and  Hakea 

preissii 

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28.  Low Open Woodland of Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp.  loxophleba  on bare 

ground 


 

29.  Tall Shrubland of Acacia aneura, Acacia tetragonophylla and Grevillea 



intregrifolia 

 

30.  Tall Shrubland to Tall Open Scrub of Acacia aneura, Acacia assimilis subsp. 



assimilis, Grevillea intregrifolia, Grevillea paradoxa and  Allocasuarina 

campestris  with scattered Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp.  loxophleba  and 

Eucalyptus leptopoda. 

 

31.  Tall Shrubland of Acacia aneura and Melaleuca acuminata subsp. websteri 



with scattered Eucalyptus oldfieldii subsp. oldfieldii 

 

32.  Priority 3 Listed taxon Persoonia pentasticha 



 

 

 



LIST OF APPENDICES 

 

1.



 

Flora Species List Koolanooka Hills  

 

2.

 



Results of Department of Conservation and Land Management Flora Database 

Search 


 

 


ATA Environmental 

_______________________________________________________________________________ 



________________________________________________________________________________ 

MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Vegetation &Flora Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



1. INTRODUCTION 

 

1.1 Project 



Scope 

 

Midwest Corporation Limited (Midwest) is proposing to develop an Iron Ore Project 



to mine and process shipping grade iron ore for export overseas. ATA Environmental 

was commissioned by Midwest Corporation Limited (Midwest) to undertake a 

vegetation and flora assessment of the project area and prepare an associated report to 

support the Notice of Intent for the proposed development.  

 

The report identifies, classifies and maps vegetation types and locations of identified 



significant flora within the mine lease that may potentially be impacted upon by the 

proposed associated infrastructure activities and mine related to the mining operations 

and provides preliminary measures to minimise potential environmental impacts.  

 

 



1.2  Study Area Location and Land Use 

 

The mine lease and study area is located in the Shire of Morawa approximately 



160km south east of Geraldton and 21km east of Morawa (Figure 1). The total area of 

the study area (ie the three mining leases M70/1014, M70/1013 and M70/1012) is 

approximately 6400ha (Figure 2). 

   


ATA Environmental 

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MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Vegetation &Flora Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



2. 

STUDY AREA DESCRIPTION 

 

2.1 Physical 



Environment 

 

 

2.1.1 Climate 

 

Koolanooka is located in the northeastern portion of the Mid West Region of Western 



Australia. The climate of the study area is considered semi arid with mild, wet winters 

and hot, dry summers.  

 

The average annual rainfall is 335mm (measured at Morawa), with the average 



monthly rainfall ranging from 9mm in December to 57mm in June. There are 2 wet 

periods during the year, during summer from January to March and in winter from 

May-August. The most significant winter rains are generally associated with frontal 

systems from the southwest, which weaken considerably by the time they reach the 

Morawa district.  Summer rains are associated with isolated thunderstorms with falls 

of up to 30-40mm, tropical lows with falls of up to 100mm occurring in 5-10 intervals 

and rare cyclonic disturbances (100mm plus) with a return period of several decades. 

 

Rainfall in this semi-arid region either infiltrates into the substrate, runs off in creeks 



or evaporates. High temperatures and high evaporation rates associated with summer 

conditions ensure a much drier climate during the summer months.  The average 

monthly maximum temperatures range from 18.1

0

C in July to 36.7



0

C in January. 

 

2.1.2 Geology 

 

The Koolanooka iron ore deposit occurs towards the northern end of the Koolanooka 



Hills, a 13km long zone comprised of Archaean synformal supracrustal rocks 

enclosed within a gneissic domain which in turn has been intruded by granitoids.  Of 

particular significance at Koolanooka is a sedimentary sequence of tuffs and 

siltstones, sandstones and minor conglomerates, which are overlain by, and inter-

bedded with, various banded iron formations and pelitic shales. These rocks, which 

form the western limb of the synform, have been intruded in places by quartz feldspar 

porphyries, andesite, dolerite and gabbro. 

 

The Banded Iron Formation (BIF) at Koolanooka is more than 200m thick and dips 



steeply to the west. In the primary zone, the main minerals are magnetite, various 

amphiboles, quartz, minor chlorite, garnets and sulphides. The iron occurs largely in 

the magnetite and the amphiboles. Towards the surface, the banded iron formations 

are variously weathered and oxidised. The surface materials comprise scree, a geothite 

hardcap and haematite conglomerates, which overlie the main weathered zone in 

which the magnetite has been largely altered to haematite, goethite and limonite. In 

the underlying transition zone, the main minerals are haematite, magnetite, chert, 

chlorite, some amphiboles and goethite. The previous mining activities were focussed 

on the weathered and surface zones, where the iron content is higher than in the 

primary banded iron formation. The soils associated with the Koolanooka Hills are 

generally rocky with gradational red gravelly loams 

 

The soils of the area surrounding the Koolanooka Hills are a mixture of deep yellow 



acidic sands, gradational sands on yellow ferruginous gravels, gradational red sandy 

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MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Vegetation &Flora Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



loams, gritty sands on granites and with some minor areas of yellow and over 

ironstone gravel (Western Australian Department of Agriculture, 1996). 



 

2.1.3

 

Landforms 

 

The Koolanooka area has been surveyed and classified according to different land 



systems by the Department of Agriculture on the basis of the underlying geology, 

landforms, soils and vegetation characteristics. Three land systems are associated with 

the majority of the Koolanooka study area. These are the: 

 



 

Koolanooka Land System 

 

Noolagabbi Land System; and 



 

Pindar Land System  



 

The Koolanooka Land System comprises the Koolanooka Hills, a range of rolling to 

very steep low hills with gently inclined foot slopes, which have been extensively 

cleared for agriculture (Western Australian Department of Agriculture, 1996). The 

Koolanooka Hills are characterised by the “sand over gravel and shallow soils on 

granite or gneiss (Wilcox et al., 1996).  

 

The Noolagabbi Land System is associated with the level and gently inclined flats and 



lower slopes surrounding the Koolanooka Land System and is often associated with a 

saline drainage network. The Noolagabbi Land System is characterised by red sands, 

loams and clays over a red/brown hard pan. 

 

The Pindar Land System is associated with the gently undulating sandplain with long 



gentle slopes to the southeast of the Koolanooka Hills. This system has been even 

more extensively cleared for agriculture than the Koolanooka Land System, primarily 

for cropping and grazing. 

 

 



2.2 Biological 

Environment 

 

2.2.1



 

Vegetation 

 

The Koolanooka study area is located within the Avon-Wheatbelt Bioregion of 

Australia (Thackaway and Cresswell, 1995), in relatively close proximity to the 

intersection of the South-Western and Eremaean Botanical Provinces of Western 

Australia. The study area is also situated within the Perenjori Botanical District 

(Beard, 1976). The study area is also associated with one of several vegetation 

systems associated with the Perenjori Botanical District, the Koolanooka System 

(Beard, 1976). This vegetation system is naturally restricted to the two known existing 

occurrences at Koolanooka Hills and the nearby Perenjori Hills (south east of 

Koolanooka Hills) (CALM, 2003).  

 

The vegetation associated with the Koolanooka System is described as consisting of 



an Open Woodland of Allocasuarina huegeliana, Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp. 

ebbanoensis, Acacia sp. scrub with Dodonaea inaequifolia interspersed with thickets 

of  Allocasuarina campestris, Acacia acuminata, Grevillea stenostachya, Melaleuca 



cordata, Melaleuca nematophylla and  Melaleuca radula. York Gum (Eucalyptus 

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MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Vegetation &Flora Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



loxophleba)  Woodland interspersed with Melaleuca  sp. scrub is prominent on the 

footslopes, while mixed Acacia spp. (A. tetragonophylla, A. quadrimarginea and A. 



ramulosa) scrub is supported on granite outcrops of the Koolanooka Hills (Beard, 

1976). 


ATA Environmental 

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MIS-2003-001-KOOL_VEA_001_sg_V1: Vegetation &Flora Assessment, Koolanooka 

Version 1: 26 March 2004 



3. 

VEGETATION AND FLORA SURVEY 

 

3.1 Methodology 



 

 

Prior to the survey, aerial photographs at a scale of 1:5,000 and colour orthophoto at a 



scale of 1:10,000 were examined to identify the patterns of vegetation change in the 

study area.  These aids were also used in the field to map the different vegetation 

associations. 

 

The flora and vegetation survey was conducted using the Draft EPA Guidance No. 51: 



Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors: Terrestrial flora and 

Vegetation Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia (EPA, 

2003) as a guide.  

 

A desktop search for the presence of rare flora was undertaken prior to the field 



survey. This investigation encompassed a review of the following databases: 

 

1. 



 Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) ‘Threatened 

(Declared Rare) Flora’ database. 

 

2.  ‘Western Australian Herbarium Specimen’ database for priority species 

opportunistically collected in the area of interest. 

 

3. DCLM’s 



‘Declared Rare and Priority Flora List’ which contain species that 

area declared rare (Conservation code R or X for those presumed to be extinct) 

poorly known (Conservation codes 1, 2 or 3) or require monitoring 

(Conservation Code 4). 

 

Prior to undertaking the field survey, previous flora and vegetation studies from the 



region were reviewed and recent aerial photography of the study area was examined 

to identify differences in vegetation types and structural units for the area.  In 

addition, voucher specimens of plants species listed from the Department of 

Conservation and Land Management’s (CALM) Declared Rare and Priority Flora 

database search as occurring in the general region of the study area were viewed at the 

Western Australian Herbarium to familiarise and assist with field identification.  

 




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