Midwest Corporation Limited Koolanooka (M70/1012)and Blue Hills

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Blue Hills 

One hundred Rare and Priority taxa are known to occur in the Yalgoo bioregion (Western 

Australian Herbarium, 2008) and a combination of 31 DRF and Priority Flora species have 

been recorded in the vicinity of Blue Hills (Table D.2, Appendix D). 

Blue Hills, as well as the surrounding Karara Station, was surveyed by Bennett (Bennett 

Environmental Consulting, 2004).  Two Priority Flora taxa were recorded on hill slopes and 

in particular on BIF rocks, these were; Cryptandra imbricata (P3 at time of the survey, no 

longer listed as a Priority taxon) and Persoonia pentasticha (P3).  (It is probable that 

Stenanthemum poicilum (P2) was also recorded but the specimen had no reproductive 

material necessary for full taxonomic confirmation.) 

During the DEC’s 2005 survey of the central Tallering Land System six Priority Flora taxa 

were recorded; Austrostipa  blackii (C.E. Hubb.) S.W.L. Jacobs & J. Everett (P3), Calytrix 

uncinata Craven (P3), Gunniopsis  rubra Chinnock (P3), Micromyrtus  acuta (P1) [syn. 

Micromyrtus cuensis J.W. Green ms], Millotia  dimorpha P.S. Short (P1) and Polianthion 

collinum Rye [syn. Genus sp. Yalgoo (J.M. Ward s.n. 11/7/1999)] (P1 at the time of survey 

now P3).  Current Priority Flora lists (Atkins, Dec 2008) also include Acacia  karina  [syn. 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 




Acacia sp. Karara (C. Godden 14) (P2)] which was collected during DEC’s 2005 survey but 

has only recently been listed.  Acacia woodmaniorum (Rare) [syn. Acacia sp. Blue Hill 

Range (R.J. Cranfield 8582)] was also recorded by the DEC at Blue Hills during their 2005 


Woodman Environmental Consulting conducted a number of surveys in the vicinity of Blue 

Hills referred to as ‘the project survey area’, which included Midwest leases across Blue 

Hills (including Mungada Ridge) but also south, west and north-west of Mt. Karara.  At 

Mungada Ridge the following Priority Flora were identified; Chamelaucium sp. Yalgoo (Y 

Chadwick 1816) (P1), Grevillea subtiliflora (P1), Gunniopsis divisa (P1), Hydrocotyle sp. 

Warriedar (PG Wilson 12267) (P1), Melaleuca barlowii (P1), Micromyrtus cuensis ms (now 

Micromyrtus acuta)  (P1),  Micromyrtus sp. Warriedar (S Patrick 1879A) P1 at the time of 

survey (now Micromyrtus trudgenii P3 ), Millotia dimorpha (P1), Rhodanthe collina (P1), 

Acacia sp. Karara (C. Godden 14) (now known as Acacia  karina - P2), Acacia 

woodmaniorum was P2 at the time of the survey, now DRF (Rare), Stenanthemum poicilum 

(P2), Acacia acanthoclada subsp. glaucescens (P3 at the time of the survey, no longer listed 

as a Priority taxon), Austrostipa blackii (P3), Cryptandra imbricata ms (P3), Grevillea 

globosa (P3), Grevillea scabrida (P3), Persoonia pentasticha (P3), Polianthion collinum 

[syn. Genus sp. Yalgoo (JM Ward s.n. 11/7/1999)] (P3) and the new taxa Acacia aff. 

coolgardiensis,  Calotis aff. cuneifolia (A. Markey & S. Dillon 3447) (recommended for 

Priority listing), Drummondita  fulva (syn. Drummondita aff. Microphylla) (P3) and 

Lepidosperma sp. Karara BIF (A. Markey & S. Dillon 3468) (Woodman, 2004, Woodman, 


ecologia carried out a survey at exploration areas at Blue Hills for Midwest (ecologia, 2007) 

and recorded a number of priority flora taxa during the survey.  Micromyrtus acuta and M. 

trudgenii (both P1; but now P1 and P3 respectively; note M. acuta was initially identified as 

M. placoides, and M. trudgenii was then known as M. sp. Warriedar), Acacia woodmaniorum 

(then listed as a P2 species but now a DRF), and Acacia acanthoclada subsp. glaucescens

Cryptandra imbricataGrevillea globosaPersoonia pentasticha and Psammomoya implexa 

(listed as P3 taxa at that time but currently not listed, not listed, P3, P3 and P3 respectively).   

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 




4.1.5  Priority Flora taxa recorded by ecologia during the current survey 


One Priority Two flora taxon was recorded during the Koolanooka survey, Baeckea sp. 

Perenjori, which is described below: 

Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516) (Myrtaceae) – Priority 2 

This plant is a rounded shrub to 0.5 m, commonly growing to 1 m in diameter.  Its flowers 

are often pale pink fading to white with age and are produced through August (Plate 4.1). 

This P2 species was recorded at a single location, site KB03, during the current survey.  The 

exact locations are listed in Appendix E, Table E.1 and approximate locations plotted on 

Figure 4.1. 



Plate 4.1: Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516) (P2) 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 




Blue Hills 

One Priority Three species was recorded during the Blue Hills survey, Micromyrtus 

trudgenii, which is described below: 

Micromyrtus trudgenii [syn. M  sp. Warriedar (S. Patrick 1879A)


(Myrtaceae) – Priority 3 

Micromyrtus trudgenii  is an erect, open and straggly weeping shrub growing to 0.5 – 2 m 

tall.  This species has small, linear-oblong leaves that tend to grow in dense clusters and then 

fall as they begin to age.  The shrub produces yellow flowers, which have been noted in July 

and September.  The flowers are small and tubular with five lobes and are cream to yellow in 


This P3 species was recorded at a single location during the current survey.  The exact 

location is listed in Appendix E, Table E.2 and approximate locations plotted on Figure 4.2. 


Plate 4.2: Micromyrtus trudgenii (P3) 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 




4.1.6  Flora having potential conservation significance 


Flora of potential conservation significance have been recorded at Koolanooka during 

previous surveys. 

During the DEC’s 2005 survey of the Koolanooka and Perenjori Hills, five new and 

undescribed species were recorded; Acacia sp. Koolanooka Hills falcate (R. Meissner and Y. 

Caruso 84) (now known as Acacia muriculata – Priority 1), Caesia sp. Koolanooka Hills (R. 

Meissner and Y. Caruso 78) (P1), Dodonaea sp.  Koolanooka Hills  (R. Meissner and Y. 

Caruso 17) (now known as Dodonaea scurra – Priority 1), Drummondita  sp.  Koolanooka 

Hills  (R. Meissner and Y. Caruso 69) (now known as Drummondita rubroviridis P1) and 

Lepidosperma  sp.  Koolanooka  (K. Newbey 9336).  Five taxa of interest were also found 

during DEC’s 2005 survey which included; Acacia aff. declinata, Hibbertia aff. exasperata, 

Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp. glauciramula, Labichea lanceolata subsp. brevifolia and 

Tetraria aff. capillaris (Appendix D, Table D.1). 

Three of the new species collected by DEC in 2005 were collected by ecologia during a 

survey in November 2007: Acacia muriculata;  Dodonaea scurra (described above); and, 

Lepidosperma sp. Koolanooka. 

None of these taxa were recorded during the current survey. 

Blue Hills 

Nine new taxa were recorded during the DEC’s 2005 survey of the area: Acacia  aff. 

coolgardiensis, Acacia woodmaniorum (currently DRF, previously P2), Acacia karina 

(formerly sp. Karara (C. Godden 14)) (recently listed as a P2 taxon), Calotis aff. cuneifolia, 

Drummondita fulva {syn.  Drummondita aff. microphylla (R. Cranfield 8586 A)] (P3)

Eremophila cf. platycalyx (A. Markey & S. Dillon 3337), Eremophila sp. (A. Markey & S. 

Dillon 3338), Lepidosperma sp. Karara (H. Pringle 3865) (syn. Lepidosperma sp. Blue Hills), 

Prostanthera  aff.  campbellii and the new hybrids, Cheilanthes  cf.  lasiophyllum  x sieberi 

(first hybridisation of this genus in WA) and Senna glutinosa subsp. chatelainiana  

charlesiana (A. Markey & S. Dillon 3413) (Markey & Dillon, 2006).  Woodman (2006b) 

recorded a possibly undescribed species of Prostanthera sp. as well as the possible new taxa, 

Acacia aff. subsessilis and Grevillea aff. zygoloba. 

None of these were recorded during the current survey; however, Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. 

Meissner & Y. Caruso MTGB16) was recorded at two locations.  This taxon is known from 

only two collections at the Western Australian Herbarium and requires further taxonomic 

studies.  It will be listed as a Priority Flora taxon in the future (pers. comm. P. Jobson and M. 

E. Trudgen, 08/08/08). 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 





Figure 4.1: Location of Priority Flora at Koolanooka. 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 





Figure 4.2: Locations of Priority Flora and Species of Interest Recorded at Blue Hills. 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 







Ecological communities are naturally occurring biological assemblages that occur in a 

particular type of habitat.  At a national level, both individual flora tax, and threatened 

ecological communities (TECs), are protected under the 1999 EPBC Act.  TECs are listed as 

Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable (for definitions of categories, see Appendix 

C).  The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts does not currently list 

any TECs as occurring within the Koolanooka or Blue Hills survey areas (DEWHA, 2008). 

The Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) maintains a 

list of threatened ecological communities (TECs) that are Presumed Totally Destroyed, 

Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.  One state-listed TEC is recorded in the 

area – the Koolanooka Hills System TEC, which is listed as Vulnerable (DEC, 2006). 




Priority weeds that are, or have the potential to become, pests to agriculture can be declared 

formally under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976.  Weeds listed 

under the Act are listed with a coded definition of the requirements for their control.  Five 

Priority groupings are used, and more than one Priority may be placed on a weed species (see 

Appendix C for definitions of codes). 


During the ATA survey on Midwest leases at Koolanooka (2004b) the following 13 weed 

species were found; *Avena barbarta, *Bromus diandrus, *Bromus hordeaceus, 

*Chenopodium murale,*Echium plantagineum (a Priority 1 weed was found around the mine 

site), *Ehrharta calycina, *Eragrostis curvula,  *Erodium botrys,  *Hypochaeris glabra

*Pennisetum setaceum, *Pentaschistis airoides, *Rumex vesicarius and *Sonchus oleraceus

On a survey undertaken previously by ecologia  at Koolanooka, two environmental weeds, 

Common Sowthistle (*Sonchus oleraceus) and Ruby Dock (*Acetosa vesicaria) were 


No weeds species were found during the current survey. 

Blue Hills 

During a previous survey by ecologia of the Mungada East pit (2006)  Patterson’s Curse, 

*Echium plantagineum (a Priority 1 weed) was recorded.  

No weeds were found during this current survey. 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 





Figure 4.3:


TEC boundary in relation to the Koolanooka survey area 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 








No Declared Rare Flora taxa were recorded during this survey. 



The regional conservation significance of the two Priority Flora taxa recorded within the 

survey area boundaries is considered below in the context of the survey’s records. 

The Priority two species, Baeckea  sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516), is known from 18 

collections at the Western Australian Herbarium including from the following locations: 

Perenjori Hills, Koolanooka Hills, Bowgada and Caron. 

The Priority three species, Micromyrtus trudgenii [syn.  Micromyrtus sp. Warriedar (S. 

Patrick 1879A)] is known from 29 collections at the Western Australian Herbarium including 

from the following locations: Warriedar Station, Blue Hills and Badja Station. 



One flora taxon of potential conservation significance was recorded during the survey. 

The collection of Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y. Carusso) marks a range 

extension of approximately 75 km to the north-west of its nearest named location at Mount 

Gibson.  This taxon requires further taxonomic study as it is only known from two 

collections at the Western Australian Herbarium.  Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y. 

Carusso) is likely to be upgraded to a Priority Flora taxon in the near future (Pers. Com. P. 

Jobson & M. E. Trudgen, 8/8/08). 

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 






The TEC currently mapped over the whole of the Koolanooka Hills is the Koolanooka Hills 

Threatened Ecological Community (TEC).  The Koolanooka Hills TEC is limited to the BIF 

ranges and footslopes of the Koolanooka Hills.  A buffer has been implemented which 

incorporates areas that are not within these habitats.  The survey area is restricted to a flat 

plain in an area of faulting and occurs within the TEC buffer but not within the BIF ranges or 

footslopes of the TEC. 

Five plant assemblages of the Koolanooka System are listed as Threatened Ecological 

Communities (TECs) by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).  Beecham 

(2001) lists the TECs as:  



Allocasuarina campestris shrub over red loam on hill slopes;  



Shrubs (such as Acacia spp.) and emergent mallees on shallow red loam over massive 

ironstone on steep rocky slopes;  



Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp.  ebbanoensis  mallee and Acacia  spp. scrub with 

scattered Allocasuarina huegeliana (cf. Allocasuarina acutivalvis, see above) over 

red loam and ironstone on the upper slopes and summits;  



Eucalyptus loxophleba woodland over scrub on the footslopes; and,  



Mixed Acacia spp. scrub on granite. 

None of these vegetation communities were recorded at the areas surveyed for this 

exploration programme. 

ATA mapped the vegetation of the Koolanooka area (2004) and according to the map 

produced the current exploration area occurs within vegetation units 14 (closed heath 

dominated by Aluta maisonneuveiAluta appressa and Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilis) and 

11 (closed tree mallee to tree mallee of Eucalyptus leptopoda and Allocasuarina campestris 

over an open shrubland of Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilisAcacia erinaceaGrevillea sp., 

Santalum acuminatum and Eremophila clarkei).  Neither of these vegetation units was 

recorded at the pads and tracks surveyed for this Koolanooka exploration programme.   

Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 






Under regulations gazetted in 2004 as an amendment to Part V of the WA Environmental 

Protection Act 1986, clearing not classified as exempt will require a Clearing Permit.  

However, Item 25 of Regulation 5 of the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations allows 

clearing for prospecting or exploration activities approved under the Mining Act 1978.  As of 



 March 2007 clearing of native vegetation for mineral and petroleum exploration (items 

24 and 25 of Regulation 5 of the Clearing Regulations) outside of Environmentally Sensitive 

Areas is permanently exempt from the need for a Clearing Permit.  

An exemption for other mineral or petroleum activities is defined in Clause 2(2) of Schedule 

1, and allows clearing of up to 10 hectares per financial year for clearing authorised under the 

Mining Act 1978 in an authority area. 

Schedule 5 of the WA Environmental Protection Act 1986 provides the following set of 

principles on which to evaluate whether clearing should or should not be permitted.  While 

mineral exploration activities are now exempt from requiring a Clearing Permit, the 

vegetation surveyed has been assessed within this context. 


Table 6.1:  Clearing permit requirements and the Koolanooka survey area. 



Assessment based on current survey: 


It comprises a high level of 

biological diversity. 

During the current survey three proposed 

drill pads and associated track were 

assessed.  Forty three taxa from 23 

families were recorded.  During DEC’s 

survey of 2006, 41 sites were surveyed 

with 237 taxa from 53 families (Meissner 

& Caruso, 2006).  In a survey of 32 drill 

pads conducted across another tenement 

at Koolanooka, 72 taxa from 27 families 

were recorded (ecologia, 2008).  Based 

on these results it would appear that the 

area surveyed is of moderate diversity 

compared with other areas at 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 






Assessment based on current survey: 


It comprises the whole, or a part of, 

or is necessary for the maintenance 

of, a significant habitat for fauna 

indigenous to Western Australia. 

Fauna habitats were not assessed; 

however, the botanists generally look for 

any fauna of interest while carrying out 

surveys.  No fauna of interest were noted 

during the survey.  The survey area 

occurs within sclerophyll woodland 

dominated by Eucalyptus  loxophleba and 

thickets of Acacia,  Allocasuarina and 

Melaleuca as described by Beard (1976).  

This vegetation type is well represented in 

the region.  



It includes, or is necessary for the 

continued existence of, rare flora. 

The location where the Priority 2 taxon 

Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516)


was recorded is not the only place these 

plants are found.  However, Midwest will 

avoid impact to this taxon. 


It comprises the whole or a part of

or is necessary for the maintenance 

of, a threatened ecological 


A vegetation map has been produced that 

shows much of the Koolanooka hilltops as 

a TEC (ATA, 2004b).  The DEC describes 

five communities for the Koolanooka 

system.  The current exploration area 

survey was limited to the flat / plains 

below the Koolanooka Hills and the 

vegetation surveyed could not be grouped 

into any of the communities described by 

the DEC using the indicator species given 

for each community.  


It is significant as a remnant of 

native vegetation in an area that 

has been extensively cleared. 

The area surrounding the Koolanooka 

project area has been significantly cleared 

for agriculture.  The small area to be 

cleared (0.11 ha) would not impact greatly 

on the surrounding remnant vegetation.  

One of the proposed drill pads is located 

on the Morawa Rifle Range in an area 

that has been previously cleared and no 

more vegetation clearing should be 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 




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