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:
- Whether a levee to protect the Open-pit from flooding was in place at the time of the flood event?
- 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.