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Southdown Magnetite Project

Category: Infrastructure

Project: Southdown Magnetite Project

Client: Grange Resources

Location: Albany

Project value: $100 million

Timeframe: 2005 - 2013


The Southdown Magnetite Project is located near the Wellstead community, approximately 90km northeast of the Port of Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. The Southdown deposit extends approximately 12km in length, with the western six kms held by the SDJV under three granted mining leases (M70/422, M70/713, and M70/719) covering an area of more than 1700 hectares on freehold farming property.

The project, which commenced in July 2005, required a number of feasibility studies in order to determine mine site boundaries and key infrastructure locations, including the proposed desalination plant and mineral pipeline to Albany Port.

Harley Dykstra was appointed at the inception of the project to undertake the following tasks:

  1. Obtain title searches for surrounding land owners and consult with Grange as to proposed infrastructure routes as well as create legal plans (Deposited Plans) to protect various interests

  2. Map approximately 115 km of proposed pipeline route over numerous landholdings (which were not predominantly owned by Grange)

  3. Determine proposed routes and locations for power, proposed desal plant (including outlet) and port pipeline for mined deposits

  4. Determine land tenure matters

  5. Conduct 3D pipe route modelling as part of negotiating with State and Local Authorities as to its preferred location


This was a long term project for Grange Resources and consequently evolved over the eight years that Harley Dykstra was involved. As a result there were a number of key challenges including:

  1. There were close to 100 landholders that Harley Dykstra needed to liaise with, in regards to providing an easement on their property for the port pipeline (to transport the slurry from the mine to the Port for shipping).  Harley Dykstra gained access to all these sites and undertook surveys to permit for the pipeline route to be mapped, which was then submitted to Council and Government agencies for approval. Often as part of the negotiations with Grange, these affected land holdings needed to be surveyed in their entirety, which Harley Dykstra completed on the client’s behalf.

  2.  As can be seen, over the history of the project, Harley Dykstra developed over 1000 survey maps and in order to ensure they were maintained and updated, the company created a catalogue system and utilised the internal QMS to ensure consistency for the client. Numerous agencies also requested copies of these plans in various formats eg environmental, aboriginal, heritage etc and hence it was essential to ensure that the most up to date plans were on file and issued accordingly.

  3.  The location of the desal plant outlet was proposed to be located off a rocky shoreline, with the closest access some 150m above ground. Harley Dykstra staff were required to scale the drop and survey both the shoreline and the ocean bed to secure accurate plans for Grange. Despite these conditions, Harley Dykstra was successful with utilising new technologies and undertaking the mapping with zero OSH incidents.

  4. Often the client required urgent changes and meetings with Harley Dykstra, as the ongoing negotiations with relevant Government Agencies was very dynamic. In all instances Grange’s deadlines were met and this ensured that the project was able to continue unhindered through the approval process.

  5. Finally, as Grange staff were predominantly based in Perth or on site (90kms from Albany) Harley Dykstra often made representations to Council on behalf of the client. With intimate knowledge of the project and our client’s success as our primary concern, Harley Dykstra was successful in securing necessary approvals along the life of the project.


By engaging Harley Dykstra and its total data service, Grange Resources was successful in securing all necessary approvals to proceed with the construction of the $2.57 billion project.

The feasibility study cost an estimated $100 million and with the assistance of Harley Dykstra’s cadastral and engineering knowledge, this was achieved in an impressive 18 month timeline.

This project demonstrates Harley Dykstra’s ability to be flexible, responsive and maintain accuracy across the entirety of the scope of works, which in turn created a successful outcome for Grange.

This case study attests that Harley Dykstra does offer expertise that can be trusted.


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