Stretching over forty million hectares of Western Australia, the Kimberley is a region of remarkable biological diversity, encompassing spectacular gorges and waterfalls.
On the surface
On the surface, we see an ecosystem that is full of native fauna and flora.
There are numerous animals in the region, such as the northern quoll, the rough-scaled python and various turtles, and their survival is of utmost importance to the locals. The region is looked over by its traditional owners, with representatives from Dambimangari, Ngala, Nyungamarta and Yawuru.
There is also stunning natural flora in the region, including the magnificent woolybutt eucalyptus, the majestic weeping paperbark and the striking silky leaf grevillea.
Below the surface
But when you take a little deeper look, you notice there’s something else below the surface – some of the world’s much-needed resources.
Mining in the Kimberley has a long and diverse history, starting with the discovery of gold near Halls Creek in 1885. This ushered in the Western Australian gold rush of the 1890s.
Midway through the next century, iron ore was found in the area. An iron ore mine was built on Cockatoo Island in 1944, with the first shipments of iron ore made in 1951.
In the 1980s, diamond deposits were discovered at Argyle, the jewel of the Kimberley. Today, one third of the world’s diamonds are found there, including the stunning Pink Argyle diamonds.
Zircon, a Mineral Sand
This is a mineral sand also found in the Kimberley. Because zircon is resistant to corrosion and heat, it is used in engines, electronics, spacecraft and the ceramics.
Rare earths are also found in this region. These elements are essential for new tech metals, including hybrid vehicles, rechargeable batteries, mobile phones, plasma and LCD TV screens, laptops, disk drives and more.
The resources industry believes in the beauty and uniqueness of the Kimberley – above and below – and we are determined to make sure we take care of both for generations to come.