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LOCATION: Roy Hill Mine, Chichester Range

CLIENT: Roy Hill

Archae-aus have been conducting indigenous heritage surveys, with the Nyiyaparli traditional owners, on the Roy Hill project since 2010. Our main focus has been on the section of the Chichester Range that holds the Hancock mining tenement and to a lesser extent, portions of the Hancock Roy Hill to Port Hedland rail corridor in the Woodstock Abydos area.  .

We have recorded almost 350 archaeological sites and excavated 10 rock shelters over the past three years with a vast number yet to be recorded. Archae-aus continue to provide the Roy Hill team with ongoing heritage advice and services.

LOCATION: Maret Islands & Browse Islands, Kimberley


In 2007 Archae-aus completed a maritime and historical heritage desktop assessment of INPEX’s proposed Ichthys Gas Field Development Project Area (Ichthys Project Area) off the Kimberley coast. The project also included maritime and historical archaeological surveys on the Maret Islands.

As a result of the desktop assessment three distinct overlapping phases of regional activity were identified:

  1. South East Asian seafaring activity and trepang harvesting (last few hundred years until 20th century);
  2. European exploration and activities (both prior to the foundation of the Swan River Colony in 1829 and, later, in the colonial era); and
  3. historical Indigenous activities (from prior to European exploration and settlement until the present).

LOCATION: Oakajee, Geraldton

CLIENT: Oakajee Port and Rail

Archae-aus completed a detailed desktop study on the Martime and European archaeology for the proposed Oakajee Port. The maritime cultural landscape and shipwreck resources identified within the project area relate primarily to the period of European settlement from the 1830’s to present. While it is possible that the area could hold shipwrecks from the era of European exploration (1600’s to 1839), it is highly more likely that the project area holds maritime resources from the era of European settlement of the Champion Bay District in the 1850’s. The development of the port of Geraldton with its shipments of produce, livestock and lead from area mines provided the impetus for increased maritime activity in the area which may have resulted in the loss of ships along the coast within the project area.

The report concluded that there was the potential for at least 6 shipwreck sites in the vicinity of the the proposed port facility and recommended that detailed acoustic and/or video imaging should be carried out along proposed disturbance areas.

LOCATION: Solomon Mine, Hamersley Range, WA

CLIENT: Windiwari Gurama Aboriginal Corporation

Archae-aus have been involved since the beginning of exploration work at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon exploration project, conducting detailed archaeological surveys and site recording programmes in close consultation with our client the Eastern Gurama Native Title holders and FMG.

Our heritage professionals were able to complete numerous surveys in a very area, operating without the benefit of a fixed camp. This enabled our client to progress exploration work without the expense and delay of camp construction. This project is marked to become an operational mine in the near future with assessment of proposed rail lines and infrastructure ongoing.

LOCATION: Paraburdoo, Hamersley Range, WA

CLIENT: Pilbara Iron (RioTinto)

Archae-aus has a long term working relationship with Pilbara Iron and the Innawonga traditional owners. Since 1997, our personnel in association with the Innawonga traditional owners have been conducting detailed cultural heritage assessments for the company’s mining and exploration operations around Paraburdoo.

During that time, Archae-aus has conducted assessments for the Eastern Ranges mine, as well as the expansion of the Channar Mine and exploration areas at the Western Ranges and Turee Creek. As a result, over 180 km² and 380 archaeological sites have been identified. To date, Archae-aus and the Innawonga traditional owners have excavated over 20 rock shelters, where the oldest site occupied by Indigenous people occurred around 30,000 years ago.

LOCATION: Nullagine Iron Ore Project, Pilbara


Archae-aus have been deeply involved in all aspects of heritage work at the Nullagine Iron Ore Project. Our heritage consultants liaise with BC Iron staff to devise programs of work designed to meet the project needs. Archae-aus has assisted in developing a Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the project, composing applications under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 as well as conducting an ongoing programme of field surveys and site recording.

LOCATION: Macedon Pipeline, Onslow

CLIENT: Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation

We have been involved in cultural heritage project management for this pipeline that runs from the existing Tubridgi gas pipeline to the Dampier to Perth Natural Gas Pipeline. Archae-aus personnel have been working in the Onslow area since the 1990s working closely with the Thalanyji.

As part of this project we have conducted heritage assessments, consulted with the Thalanyji regarding possible site impacts, assisted with section 18 applications, developed a cultural heritage management plan and a delivered to the Thalanyji a detailed cultural heritage construction monitor and assistant training programme.

LOCATION: Gorgon Project, Barrow Island, WA

CLIENT: Environmental Resources Management, ChevronTexaco and Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation

Archae-aus first became involved in the management of heritage for the Gorgon Project in 2003. We were contracted to conduct a detailed desktop study of Indigenous, historical and maritime heritage as part of ChevronTexaco’s Environmental Impact Assessment application.

This integrated project, the first of its kind in WA, involved anthropologists and Indigenous, historical and maritime archaeologists. The project also included the preparation of a comprehensive cultural heritage management plan. Field assessment with members of the Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation has been ongoing as the Gorgon project now enters the construction phase.

LOCATION: Huntly & Myara Mines, Dwellingup

CLIENT: Alcoa World Alumina Australia

We have been conducting Indigenous and European heritage assessments for Alcoa since the late 1990s. In particular, we have assisted Alcoa to develop best practice approaches to cultural heritage management in collaboration with Curtin University. As a result of this partnership, Archae-aus has developed a GIS predictive model for Indigenous archaeological site location at Alcoa’s operations in the Darling Range.

Owing to the dense nature of the vegetation in this part of the south-west, more traditional archaeological survey techniques were determined to be costly in terms of time and effort. In contrast, a predictive model-based approach to the survey of large areas of land is very targeted.

This project continues today in the form of ongoing field testing and refining of the predictive model at Alcoa’s Huntley and Willowdale Operation areas. As part of this project we are also involved with the training of Bibbilmun’s traditional owners.

LOCATION: Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek Mines, Chichester Range

CLIENT: Fortescue Metals Group

Archae-aus has been involved since the establishment of both the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek operations, offering continual onsite support through our heritage managers/archaeologists who work closely with the Nyiyaparli traditional owners. Archae-aus is integral in the ongoing heritage work at these projects, helping to devise induction programs as well as conducting heritage surveys, site recording, site salvage and excavations.

To date over 3000 archaeological sites have been recorded with a series of rockshelters excavated resulting in occupation evidence dated to greater than 42,000 cal BP.