Isaac Plains Mine Flooding

Moranbah QLD

In late 2010, an Open-pit coal mine at Isaac Plains in Central Queensland was flooded during a very large rainfall event as a result of the rapid rise in the creek / watercourse adjoining the Open-pit mine.  The flooding event resulted in a shut-down of the mining operations for many months, as well as extensive damage to the Open-pit mine.

As a consequence:

The owner of the mine lodged a large insurance claim for the consequential mine losses and damage.

The Open-pit mine insurer engaged SCE to investigate the incident, and prepare a report on the cause of the flooding of the Open-pit mine.

In particular, SCE was asked to consider:

  1. Whether a levee to protect the Open-pit from flooding was in place at the time of the flood event?
  2. Whether, if an appropriately Engineered Levee had been in place at the time of the actual flood event, the levee would have fully protected the Open-pit against flooding [i.e. would the levee have breached or failed]?

The size and complexity of this claim was substantial, with the SCE work involving review and analysis of thousands of documents & photos, the modelling of the performance of a ‘hypothetical’ engineered levee during the actual flood event, and a number of complex engineering reports.