Lato, M, Quinn, P, Porter, M, Newton, S, Dixon, R, Wessels, SDN, Wessels, L, Sirois, D & Leveque, M 2019, 'Geohazard risk management for linear transportation', in J Wesseloo (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Conference on Mining Geomechanical Risk
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 323-336.
Railways that deliver ore from mines to market are critical to an operation’s viability. Two examples of such railways include the Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) railway in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) railway in northeastern Canada. Both railways are the only transportation mode from 17 mine sites to the ports to deliver their products to markets; annually, these railways ship over 330 million tonnes of iron ore (RTIO) and over 10 million tonnes of iron pellets (IOC). Although separated by over 16,000 km, different terrains, climates and operating regulations, these railways face similar challenges with respect to assessing and managing the risks associated with geohazards, in particular rockfall, landslides, and flooding geohazards. This paper presents risk-based frameworks for the IOC and RTIO railways, and the development of web and mobile based platforms to support effective geohazard risk-management practices within corporate risk frameworks. The output risk rating for each credible geohazard affecting the railway is used to support risk management through inspections, remediation projects and optimisation of maintenance and in situ or remote monitoring efforts. The geohazard management systems are also used in combination with live monitoring data to actively alert railway operators of changing conditions and potential triggering events, such as flooding or heavy rainfall. The systems that will be presented are used to support decisionmaking and communication of geohazard threats within their organisations.
Keywords: geohazards, railway, risk-management systems, iron ore
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