Pilbara

The Pilbara (/ˈpɪlbərə/) is a large, dry, thinly populated region in the north of Western Australia. It is known for its Aboriginal peoples; its ancient landscapes; the red earth; its vast mineral deposits, in particular iron ore; and as a global biodiversity hotspot for subterranean fauna.[1]

Pilbara
The Pilbara region according to the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993
The Pilbara region according to the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993
CountryAustralia
StateWestern Australia
Area
 • Total502,000 km2 (194,000 sq mi)
Population
(2010)
 • Total48,610
 • Density0.097/km2 (0.25/sq mi)
Pilbara 1
North of the Pilbara looking south at the range
Jasperlite (iron formation) Melbourne Museum
Jasperlite (Banded iron formation) specimen from the Old Ridley Ranges, Pilbara

Definitions of the Pilbara region

At least two important but differing definitions of the region exist. It is one of nine regions of the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993, and is also the name of a bioregion (which differs in extent) under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA).[2][3]

IBRA regions and subregions: IBRA7
IBRA region / subregion IBRA code Area States Location in Australia
Pilbara PIL 17,823,126 hectares (44,041,900 acres) WA IBRA 6.1 Pilbara
Chichester PIL01 8,374,728 hectares (20,694,400 acres)
Fortescue PIL02 1,951,435 hectares (4,822,100 acres)
Hamersley PIL03 5,634,727 hectares (13,923,710 acres)
Roebourne PIL04 1,862,236 hectares (4,601,690 acres)

General

The region, as defined by the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993, has an estimated population of 48,610 as of June 2010.[4][5] The Pilbara covers an area of 502,000 km2,[6] which includes some of Earth's oldest rock formations. It includes landscapes of coastal plains and mountain ranges with cliffs and gorges. The major settlements of the region are Port Hedland, Karratha and Newman. The three main ports in this region are Port Hedland, Dampier and Port Walcott.[7]

The area is known for its petroleum, natural gas and iron ore deposits, which contribute significantly to Australia's economy. Other than mining, pastoral activities as well as fishing and tourism are the main industries.[8]

Etymology

The Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre Wangka Maya says that the name for the Pilbara region derives from the Aboriginal word bilybara, meaning 'dry' in the Nyamal and Banyjima languages.[9]

Alternatively, The Western Australia Gas Industry claims that the region takes its name from pilbarra, an Aboriginal word for the mullet (fish). The Pilbara Creek (originally spelt "Pilbarra") is a tributary of the Yule River, a significant river in the region. Pilbarra (Sea Mullet (Mugil cephalus)) and barramundi (Lates calcarifer) can still be caught in the Yule River today.[10] This Pilbara Creek lent its name to the Pilbara Goldfield, discovered in 1885, after which time the name was used to refer to the region.[11]

History

Op hurricane
The mushroom cloud resulting from the Operation Hurricane detonation

The first European to explore the area was Francis Thomas Gregory in 1861. Settlements along the coast at Cossack, Roebourne and Shellborough were established over ensuing decades as agricultural and pastoral centres. However, after c. 1900, these largely went into decline with the growth of other, more productive agricultural areas of the state. Mining in the area started in 1937 in Wittenoom Gorge, and following the discovery of iron ore in the Hamersley Ranges in the 1960s, the area became pivotal to the state's economy and towns built to accommodate mining and allied services boomed.[12] On 3 October 1952, the British conducted their first atomic bomb tests on the Montebello Islands as part of Operation Hurricane.

Aboriginal people

Burrup rock art
Burrup rock art

The Aboriginal population of the Pilbara considerably predates, by 30–40,000 years, the European colonisation of the region. Archaeological evidence indicates that people were living in the Pilbara even during the harsh climatic conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum.[13] The early history of the first peoples is held within an oral tradition, archeological evidence and petroglyphs. Near the town of Dampier is a peninsula known as Murujuga, which contains a large collection of world heritage listed petroglyphs, dating back thousands of years. Rock art in the Pilbara appears to have been primarily etched into the hard rock surfaces, compared to predominantly paintings on the softer sandstone in the Kimberley. This does not preclude that painting was and is not performed in the Pilbara. In 2006, it was estimated that 15% of the population of the Pilbara was of Indigenous background, approximately 6,000 people.[14]

Working conditions in the pearling and pastoral industries for Aboriginals in the Pilbara region around 1900 have been described as slavery with no wages paid, kidnapping as well as severe and cruel punishments for misbehaviour and absconding all common practices.[15] The first strike by Indigenous people in Australia took place in 1946 in the Pilbara, when Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the stations in protest at low pay and bad working conditions, a strike that lasted for over three years.[16]

Family clans in the Pilbara who were supported by mining prospector, Don McLeod, developed skills for mining and the concentration of rare metals. For a short period money accumulated, which according to Aboriginal law was to be used for traditional ways. Eventually the funds were used to establish an independent Aboriginal-controlled school.[17] The concept has expanded into a movement with around 20 similar schools established in northern Western Australia by the mid 1990s.

Many Pilbara communities face the many complex effects of colonisation, and lack adequate access to housing, health and education.[18][19] A 1971 survey of 1,000 Aboriginal people conducted by Pat McPherson found that most had one or more serious diseases.[20] At the McClelland Royal Commission into British nuclear testing, Aboriginals from the Pilbara provided evidence regarding the explosion on the Montebello Islands.[21]

Aboriginal communities are sited over a number of different places.[22] Many have poor infrastructure.[23][24][25]

Relations between police and aboriginals are very often tense.[26][27]

Location and description

Maitland River bridge Western Australia 2004-04-14
300m of North West Coastal Highway approaches to the Maitland River bridge were destroyed during Cyclone Monty

Under the Regional Development Commissions Act Pilbara is situated south of the Kimberley, and is made up of the local government areas of Ashburton, East Pilbara, Karratha and Port Hedland.

The Pilbara region covers an area of 507,896 km2 (193,826 mi2) (including offshore islands), roughly the combined land area of the US States of California and Indiana. It has a population of more than 45,000,[28] most of whom live in the western third of the region, in towns such as Port Hedland, Karratha, Wickham, Newman and Marble Bar. A substantial number of people also work in the region on a fly-in/fly-out basis. There are approximately 10 major/medium population centres and more than 25 smaller ones

The Pilbara consists of three distinct geographic areas. The western third is the Roebourne coastal sandplain, which supports most of the region's population in towns and much of its industry and commerce. The eastern third is almost entirely desert, and is sparsely populated by a small number of Aboriginal peoples. These are separated by the inland uplands of the Pilbara Craton, including the predominant Hamersley Range which has a considerable number of mining towns, the Chichester Range and others. These uplands have a number of gorges and other natural attractions.

The Pilbara contains some of the world's oldest surface rocks, including the ancient fossilised remains known as stromatolites and rocks such as granites that are more than three billion years old. In 2007, some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth was found in 3.4 billion-year-old sandstones at Strelley Pool, which preserve fossils of sulfur-processing bacteria.[29] The mineralized spheres, which were found on an ancient beach and have a cell-like morphology, were chemically analysed, revealing that they used sulfur for fuel.[30]

Climate

Tropical Cyclone Fay 27 mar 2004 0220Z
The Terra satellite captured this image of Cyclone Fay, over the Western Australian coast on 27 March 2004.

The climate of the Pilbara is arid and tropical.[5] It experiences high temperatures and low irregular rainfall that follows the summer cyclones. During the summer months, maximum temperatures exceed 32 °C (90 °F) almost every day, and temperatures in excess of 45 °C (113 °F) are not uncommon. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 10 °C (50 °F) on the coast; however, inland temperatures as low as 0 °C (32 °F) are occasionally recorded.

The Pilbara town of Marble Bar set a world record of most consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) or more, during a period of 160 such days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.[31]

The average annual rainfall in the region is between 200 and 350 millimetres (7.9 and 13.8 in).[5] Almost all of the Pilbara's rainfall occurs between December and May, usually with occasional heavy downpours in thunderstorms or tropical cyclones. The period from June to November is usually completely rainless, with warm to very hot and sunny conditions. Like most of the north coast of Australia, the coastal areas of the Pilbara experience occasional tropical cyclones. The frequency of cyclones crossing the Pilbara coast is about 7 every 10 years.[5][32] Due to the low population density in the Pilbara region, cyclones rarely cause large scale destruction or loss of life.

Economy

Karijini8
Weano Gorge in Karijini National Park

The Pilbara's economy is dominated by mining exports and petroleum export industries.[35]

Iron ore

Most of Australia's iron ore is mined in the Pilbara, with mines mostly centred around Tom Price and Newman. The iron ore industry employs 9,000 people from the Pilbara area. The Pilbara also has one of the world's major manganese mines, Woodie Woodie, situated 400 kilometres (250 mi) southeast of Port Hedland.

Iron ore reserves were first discovered by Lang Hancock, and considerable portions of the Pilbara region are still claimed by his daughter Gina Rinehart and the family company Hancock Prospecting continues to gain from its interests in the region – as well as commencing its own mine workings. Blue asbestos was first mined in Wittenoom Gorge in 1943.[12]

In the 1960s, it was reportedly called "one of the most massive ore bodies in the world" by Thomas Price, then vice president of US-based steel company Kaiser Steel. Geoscience Australia calculated that the country's "economic demonstrated resources" of iron amounted to 24 gigatonnes, or 24 billion tonnes. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, as of 2010, that resource is being used up at a rate of 324 million tonnes a year, with rates expected to increase over coming years. Experts Gavin Mudd (Monash University) and Jonathon Law (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) expect it to be gone within 30 to 50 years (Mudd) and 56 years (Law).[36]

As of 2010, active iron ore mines in the Pilbara are:

Liquified natural gas

A significant part of Pilbara's economy is based on liquified natural gas (LNG) through the North West Shelf Venture and Pluto LNG plant, both operated by Woodside.

Agriculture

Millstream-Chichester National Park DSC04096
Millstream Homestead in Millstream-Chichester National Park

The region also has a number of cattle-grazing stations, and a substantial tourist sector, with popular natural attractions including the Karijini and Millstream-Chichester national parks and the Dampier Archipelago.

Transport

Port Hedland, Western Australia
BHP iron ore train arriving at Port Hedland

The first railway in the Pilbara region was the narrow-gauge Marble Bar Railway between Port Hedland and Marble Bar. The Marble Bar Railway opened in July 1911 and closed in October 1951. The Roebourne-Cossack Tramway opened in 1897 and many industrial railways have been built to serve the mines.[38]

Currently four heavy-duty railways are associated with the various iron-ore mines, with a fifth line proposed to serve the Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. mines. The railways are all standard gauge and are built to the heaviest North American standards. Between 2008 and 2012, Rio Tinto proposes to convert to driverless trains on its railways.[39] An additional 300 km line is planned from the Roy Hill mine to a port at Boodarie, near Port Hedland.[40]

Ports

The ports of the Pilbara are:

Ecology

Karijini1
The vibrant colours of the outback in Karijini National Park

The dominant flora of the Pilbara is acacia trees and shrubs and drought-resistant Triodia spinifex grasses. Several species of acacia (wattle) trees are endemic to the Pilbara and are the focus of conservation programs along with wildflowers and other local specialities.

The Pilbara is home to a wide variety of endemic species adapted to this tough environment. There is a high diversity of invertebrates, including hundreds of species of subterranean fauna (both stygofauna and troglofauna), which are microscopic invertebrates that live in caves, vugs or groundwater aquifers of the region and terrestrial fauna (see short-range endemic invertebrates). The Pilbara olive python, the western pebble-mound mouse, and the Pilbara ningaui of the Hamersley Range are among the many species of animals within the fragile ecosystems of this desert ecoregion. Birds include the Australian hobby, nankeen kestrel, spotted harrier, mulga parrot and budgerigars.

Wildlife has been damaged by the extraction of iron, natural gas and asbestos but the protection of culturally and environmentally sensitive areas of the Pilbara is now advanced by the delineation of several protected areas including the Millstream-Chichester and the Karijini National Parks.

See also

References

  1. ^ S.A. Halse; M.D. Scanlon; J.S. Cocking; H.J. Barron; J.B. Richardson; S.M. Eberhard (2014). "Pilbara stygofauna: deep groundwater of an arid landscape contains globally significant radiation of biodiversity" (PDF). Records of the Western Australian Museum. Supplement 78: 443–483.
  2. ^ Environment Australia. "Revision of the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) and Development of Version 5.1 – Summary Report". Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Australian Government. Archived from the original on 5 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-31.
  3. ^ IBRA Version 6.1 data
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 March 2011). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009–10 – Western Australia". Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "Rangelands – Overview – Pilbara". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 27 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Regional Development Australia Pilbara". Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  7. ^ Annual report 2015 – Pilbara ports authority. Port Hedland: PPA (Pilbara ports authority). 1 May 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Department of Health: Pilbara". Government of Western Australia. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  9. ^ [1] Book Bilybara (p. ii)
  10. ^ [2] fishes in groundwater dependant pools of the Fortescue andYule Rivers, Pilbara, Western Australia
  11. ^ "WA Gas Industry: Interesting Facts". nwsg.com.au. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b Hema Maps (1997). Discover Australia's National Parks. Milsons Point, New South Wales: Random House Australia. p. 274. ISBN 1-875-99247-2.
  13. ^ Marwick, Ben (2002). "Milly's Cave: Evidence for Human Occupation of the Inland Pilbara during the Last Glacial Maximum". Tempus. 7: 21–33. ISSN 1323-6040.
  14. ^ Water and Indigenous People in the Pilbara CSIRO study, published: September 2011, accessed: 1 December 2011
  15. ^ Olive, Noel (2007). Enough is Enough: A History of the Pilbara Mob. Fremantle Press. pp. 57–59. ISBN 1-921-06445-5. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  16. ^ Historical Events Timeline Wangka Maya website, accessed: 1 December 2011
  17. ^ Coombs, H.C. (1994). Smith, Diane, ed. Aboriginal Autonomy: Issues and Strategies. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. pp. 191–192. ISBN 0-521-44097-1. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  18. ^ http://www.istp.murdoch.edu.au/ISTP/publications/antipoverty06/McGrathArmstrongMarinova.html
  19. ^ http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/changing/
  20. ^ Griffiths, Max (2006). Aboriginal Affairs 1967—2005: Seeking a Solution. Dural, New South Wales: Rosenberg Publishing. p. 193. ISBN 1-877058-45-9. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  21. ^ Information, Reed Business (30 August 1984). "Royal Commission probes British nuclear tests in Australia". New Scientist (1419): 6. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  22. ^ Western Australia Aboriginal Communities. Department of Indigenous Affairs.
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ [4]
  25. ^ "Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability (CRCS) - Research Capabilities - Murdoch University in Perth Australia". www.istp.murdoch.edu.au. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  26. ^ http://www.criminologyresearchcouncil.gov.au/reports/2-85.pdf
  27. ^ http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/publications/deaths_custody/ch_6.html
  28. ^ [5]
  29. ^ Amos, Jonathan (22 August 2011). "Fossil microbes give sulphur insight on ancient Earth". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  30. ^ Elizabeth Pennisi (21 August 2011). "World's Oldest Fossils Found in Ancient Australian Beach". ScienceNOW. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  31. ^ "Marble Bar heatwave, 1923–1924". Australian Climate Extremes. Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  32. ^ [6]
  33. ^ "Climate statistics". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  34. ^ "BOM".
  35. ^ The Pilbara’s oil and gas industry is the region’s largest export industry earning $5.0 billion in 2004/05 accounting for over 96% of the State's production. source – http://www.pdc.wa.gov.au/industry/types-of-industries/oil-and-gas.aspx
  36. ^ Pincock, Stephen (2010-07-14). "Iron ore country". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  37. ^ "Mining Journal – Spinifex gets Chinese finance approval". 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  38. ^ Joyce, J. and Tilley, Allan, "Railways in the Pilbara," (1979). ISBN 0959969926.
  39. ^ "Iron-ore railway automation project, Western Australia". Mineprocessing.com. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  40. ^ "Railway Gazette: Pilbara iron ore line approved". Retrieved 2010-07-21.

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Further reading

  • Sharp, Janet, and Nicholas Thieberger. (1992). Aboriginal languages of the Pilbara Region: Bilybara. Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre, Port Hedland, WA.

External links

Coordinates: 21°S 119°E / 21°S 119°E

1946 Pilbara strike

The 1946 Pilbara strike was a landmark strike by Indigenous Australian pastoral workers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for human rights recognition and payment of fair wages and working conditions. The strike involved at least 800 Aboriginal pastoral workers walking off the large Pastoral Stations in the Pilbara on 1 May 1946, and from employment in the two major towns of Port Hedland and Marble Bar. The strike did not end until August 1949 and even then many indigenous Australians refused to go back and work for white station owners.It is regarded as one of the longest industrial strikes in Australia, and a landmark in indigenous Australians fighting for their human rights, cultural rights, and Native title.

Bailgu

The Bailgu are an indigenous Australian people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Electoral district of Pilbara

The Electoral district of Pilbara is a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. Pilbara is named for the region of Western Australia in which it is located. It is one of the oldest electorates in Western Australia, with its first member having been elected to the Second Parliament of the Legislative Assembly at the 1894 elections.

Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (Often referred to as FMG) is an Australian iron ore company. Fortescue is the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world after BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Vale. The company has holdings of more than 87,000 km² in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, making it the largest tenement holder in the state, larger than both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Frederick River

The Frederick River is a river that is located in the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

The headwaters of the river rise in the Kenneth Range. The river flows in a south-westerly direction, joined by one minor tributary until it reaches its confluence with the Lyons River near Cobra Station homestead. The river descends 131 metres (430 ft) over 89 kilometres (55 mi) course.The river was named in 1866 by the explorer Edward Hooley who was on expedition in the area after Frederick Roe, the son of John Septimus Roe.

Kanyara languages

The Kanyara languages are a pair of closely related languages in the southern Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The languages classified as members of the Kanyara languages group are:

Burduna (Bayungu)

Dhalanyji (Binigura)The varieties in parentheses are sometimes considered separate languages.

They are spoken in the region between the mouths of the Gascoyne River and the Ashburton River, along the coast and extending inland.

The name kanyara comes from the word for 'man' in both languages. The Kanyara languages form a branch of the Pama–Nyungan family. The Kanyara group was first proposed by Austin (1988) based on lexical, morphological and syntactic criteria.

Karratha, Western Australia

Karratha is a city in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, adjoining the port of Dampier. It was established in 1968 to accommodate the processing and exportation workforce of the Hamersley Iron mining company and, in the 1980s, the petroleum and liquefied natural gas operations of the North West Shelf Venture. At the 2016 Census, Karratha had an urban population of around 16,000. The city's name comes from the cattle station of the same name, which derives from a word in a local Aboriginal language meaning "good country" or "soft earth". The city is the seat of government of the City of Karratha, a local government area covering the surrounding region.

List of pastoral leases in Western Australia

Pastoral leases in Western Australia are increasingly known as "stations", and more particular – as either sheep stations or cattle stations. They are usually found in country that is designated as rangeland. In Western Australia, all leases were most recently up for renewal or surrender in 2015.Some 527 pastoral leases exist in Western Australia.Stations/pastoral leases are a significant part of Western Australian history. At different stages enquiries, pleas for extensions of lease times and royal commissions have been made into the industry.Nearly 90 million hectares or 36% of the area of Western Australia are covered by these stations. Despite the very low population involved in general management of stations, significant numbers of seasonal workers (shearers and others) have moved through the sheep stations to shear for wool. Also more recently stations have been used as holding places of feral goats for export and meat production.

The significant distances between stations and points of transport have seen droving or "stock routes" created in the past, such as the Canning Stock Route. Also the rail route to Meekatharra can be seen as a means of reaching into the station country to facilitate stock transport.

Murujuga

Murujuga, usually known as the Burrup Peninsula, is an island in the Dampier Archipelago, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, containing the town of Dampier. Originally named Dampier Island after the English navigator William Dampier, it lies 3 km off the Pilbara coast. In 1963 the island became an artificial peninsula when it was connected to the mainland by a causeway for a road and railway. In 1979 Dampier Peninsula was renamed Burrup Peninsula after Mt Burrup, the highest peak on the island, which had been named after Henry Burrup, a Union Bank clerk murdered in 1885 at Roebourne.The region is sometimes confused with the Dampier Peninsula, 800 km to the north-east. In Ngayarda languages, including that of the indigenous people of the peninsula, the Jaburara people, murujuga meant "hip bone sticking out".

The peninsula is a unique ecological and archaeological area since it contains the world's largest and most important collection of petroglyphs – ancient Aboriginal rock carvings some claim to date back as far as the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. The collection of standing stones here is the largest in Australia with rock art petroglyphs numbering over one million, many depicting images of the now extinct thylacine (Tasmanian tiger).

The Dampier Rock Art Precinct, which covers the entire archipelago, is the subject of ongoing political debate due to historical and proposed industrial development.

Newman Airport

Newman Airport (IATA: ZNE, ICAO: YNWN) is an airport near Newman, Western Australia. Situated 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) southeast from the town, it is the most ready form of transport between Perth and Newman.

The airport is owned and maintained by the Shire of East Pilbara. Newman's primary air traffic is made up by a mixture of light aircraft, QantasLink and Virgin Australia flights. QantasLink and Virgin Australia fly RPT flights to Perth only (with the exception of their regular charter flights) whereas the lighter aircraft fly to outer communities as well as to Port Hedland and other Pilbara towns. The flight time between Newman and Perth is approximately 1:45 (jet).

Panyjima people

The Panyjima are an indigenous people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Paraburdoo, Western Australia

Paraburdoo is a mining town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The name of the town comes from an Aboriginal word for 'white cockatoo'. Paraburdoo was developed in the early 1970s to support Hamersley Iron's (now Pilbara Iron) local iron ore mining operations, and gazetted as a town in 1972. Most of the town's residents are employed by Pilbara Iron's mining operation and the supporting services. The region is served by Paraburdoo Airport, which is situated 9 km from the town.

The town provides housing to workers of the three near-by Rio Tinto mines, those being the Channar, Eastern Range and Paraburdoo mine.Paraburdoo is located 1528 kilometres north of Perth. Its located 24 kilometres north of the Tropic of Capricorn and nearly 300 kilometres from the coast.

Climate is variable in Paraburdoo. It can get as hot as 45 degrees Celsius and drop to single figures. Rainfall is also very variable, especially in cyclone season. the average temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius.

Most residents in Paraburdoo are employed by the mine or work to support workers from the mine. Kids can go to daycare and school from pre-school to TAFE(college). There are also skateparks, swimming pools, tennis courts, netball, cricket and football fields. Paraburdoo has its own shopping facilities and medical centres.

Paraburdoo Airport

Paraburdoo Airport (IATA: PBO, ICAO: YPBO) is an airport serving Paraburdoo, a town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The airport is located 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) northeast of Paraburdoo. It also serves the town of Tom Price, with bus services completing the extra 71 km (44 miles) to Tom Price.The airport is owned by Rio Tinto Group and operated by Pilbara Iron. Paraburdoo's primary air traffic is made up by a mixture of Qantas and Virgin Australia flights, as well as general aviation light aircraft. Qantas operates 32 direct flights weekly to and from Perth. Virgin Australia operate two Perth direct flights per week, with two closed charter flights weekly to Carnarvon and Geraldton.

Pilbara Minerals

Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) is an Australian lithium mining company. It owns and operates the Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project. Pilbara is listed on the S&P/ASX 200. It was founded in 2005.

Pilbara ningaui

The Pilbara ningaui (Ningaui timealeyi), sometimes known as Ealey's ningaui, is a tiny species of marsupial carnivore found in Australia. It rarely exceeds 5.8 cm in body length, with a tail 6-7.6 cm long and a weight of 5-9.4g. This makes the Pilbara ningaui one of the smallest of all marsupials, surpassed only by the planigales.The Pilbara ningaui is found mostly in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is partly arboreal, and differs from other ningauis in its smaller size and rufous-tinted face.

Robe River (Australia)

Robe River is a river in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The headwaters of the river rise in the Hamersley Range near Marana Spring then flow in a north westerly direction past the Robe River-Deepdale mine, crossing the North West Coastal Highway near the Pannawonica turnoff then discharging into the Indian Ocean near Robe Point.

Robe River has two tributaries; Mungarathoona Creek and Kumina Creek.

The Robe is an ephemeral river and is restricted to a series of permanent pools that act as important refugia for native fauna through the dry season.The rivers experiences periodical flooding. Following Cyclone Monty in 2004 the river was in full flood resulting in Pannawonnica being cut off and people being rescued from the roof of Yarraloola homestead.In 2009, following heavy rainfall, the river burst its banks cutting roads and railway lines. Yarraloola Station was evacuated and Rio Tinto railway network was disrupted as a result.

Shire of Ashburton

The Shire of Ashburton is one of the four local government areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, covering an area of 105,647 square kilometres (40,791 sq mi). It is named after the Ashburton River.

The shire's administration centre is in the town of Tom Price. It had a population of about 13,000 as at the 2016 Census, most of whom live in the mining towns or in nearby mining camps. Most of the land is taken up by pastoral leases or protected areas (including the Karijini National Park). Other than agriculture, industries important to Ashburton include mining, oil, natural gas, fishing, and tourism.

Shire of East Pilbara

The Shire of East Pilbara is one of the four local government areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and with an area close to 380,000 square kilometres (147,000 sq mi), is the third largest municipality in the world, after two new municipalities in Greenland (Avannaata and Sermersooq, with each around 650,000 km2). The municipality is bigger than many countries, for example Finland and is comparable to Japan. The Shire's seat of government, and home to slightly over half the Shire's population, is the town of Newman in the shire's south-west.

Town of Port Hedland

The Town of Port Hedland is a local government area in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for the twin towns of Port Hedland and South Hedland. It had a population of approximately 14,500 as at the 2016 Census of which only a few hundred live outside the settlement boundaries. The council maintains 171 km of sealed and 380 km of unsealed roads.

Climate data for Port Hedland (Coastal)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.0
(120.2)
48.2
(118.8)
45.9
(114.6)
42.4
(108.3)
38.8
(101.8)
35.5
(95.9)
34.4
(93.9)
36.8
(98.2)
42.2
(108.0)
46.9
(116.4)
47.4
(117.3)
47.9
(118.2)
49.0
(120.2)
Average high °C (°F) 36.4
(97.5)
36.2
(97.2)
36.7
(98.1)
35.2
(95.4)
30.6
(87.1)
27.6
(81.7)
27.1
(80.8)
29.2
(84.6)
32.3
(90.1)
34.8
(94.6)
36.2
(97.2)
36.6
(97.9)
33.2
(91.8)
Average low °C (°F) 25.6
(78.1)
25.5
(77.9)
24.5
(76.1)
21.4
(70.5)
17.2
(63.0)
14.1
(57.4)
12.3
(54.1)
13.1
(55.6)
15.4
(59.7)
18.4
(65.1)
21.3
(70.3)
24.0
(75.2)
19.4
(66.9)
Record low °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
16.3
(61.3)
15.8
(60.4)
12.2
(54.0)
7.0
(44.6)
4.7
(40.5)
3.2
(37.8)
3.7
(38.7)
7.7
(45.9)
11.1
(52.0)
12.4
(54.3)
16.6
(61.9)
3.2
(37.8)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 62.2
(2.45)
94.8
(3.73)
50.1
(1.97)
22.4
(0.88)
27.0
(1.06)
20.7
(0.81)
11.1
(0.44)
4.9
(0.19)
1.3
(0.05)
0.9
(0.04)
2.7
(0.11)
17.9
(0.70)
314.4
(12.38)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[33]
Climate data for Newman (Inland)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.0
(116.6)
46.0
(114.8)
43.3
(109.9)
40.4
(104.7)
35.2
(95.4)
33.0
(91.4)
31.0
(87.8)
34.1
(93.4)
38.0
(100.4)
42.9
(109.2)
43.9
(111.0)
45.0
(113.0)
47.0
(116.6)
Average high °C (°F) 39.5
(103.1)
37.2
(99.0)
35.8
(96.4)
31.6
(88.9)
27.3
(81.1)
22.9
(73.2)
23.0
(73.4)
25.8
(78.4)
30.5
(86.9)
35.0
(95.0)
37.4
(99.3)
38.9
(102.0)
32.1
(89.8)
Average low °C (°F) 25.3
(77.5)
24.4
(75.9)
22.4
(72.3)
18.4
(65.1)
13.0
(55.4)
9.6
(49.3)
8.1
(46.6)
10.1
(50.2)
13.7
(56.7)
17.9
(64.2)
21.4
(70.5)
23.9
(75.0)
17.3
(63.1)
Record low °C (°F) 16.1
(61.0)
17.0
(62.6)
9.0
(48.2)
6.0
(42.8)
1.0
(33.8)
−1.1
(30.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
−2.0
(28.4)
1.0
(33.8)
6.0
(42.8)
11.8
(53.2)
15.2
(59.4)
−2.0
(28.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 57.2
(2.25)
78.9
(3.11)
41.7
(1.64)
18.4
(0.72)
18.5
(0.73)
14.6
(0.57)
15.1
(0.59)
7.7
(0.30)
3.4
(0.13)
4.7
(0.19)
10.5
(0.41)
37.4
(1.47)
312.0
(12.28)
Source: [34]
BHP
Fortescue Metals
Rio Tinto
Atlas Iron
Other operations
Drainage basins of Australia

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