Climate, Geography, and Infrastructure
The East Kimberley has a tropical monsoon climate receiving about 90% of its rainfall during the short wet season, from November to April, when cyclones are common and the rivers flood. In the dry season, from May to October, southeasterly breezes bring sunny days and cool nights. Halls Creek has a mean annual rainfall of 575.6 mm. The Kimberley is one of the hottest parts of Australia. Halls Creek’s average annual maximum temperature is 33.6 °C and average minimum is 20.0 °C. The hottest part of the year is November before the rains break, when the average maximum temperature is 38.3 °C (BOM, 2020).
Physiographically the Koongie Park project lies across the watershed between the Laura River flowing to the southwest, the Margaret river flowing to the west, and the Elvire River flowing to the east. Elevations range from 380 to 480 m above sea level with variable topography: flat, undulating, low rounded boulder-strewn hills, and subdued strike ridges. The more rugged Halls Creek Ridges lie to the southeast. Much of the surrounding region comprises extensive black-soil plains supporting grasslands and providing excellent grazing for the pastoral industry. Vegetation in the project area comprises mostly spinifex grass, Acacia scrub and eucalyptus species.
Halls Creek functions as a hub for the local indigenous population and as a support centre for cattle stations in the area. The Koongie Park project lies on the Lamboo and Koongie Park pastoral stations. The Koongie Park project lies on the lands of the Ngarrawanji, Koongie-Elvire and Jaru Traditional Owners within the jurisdiction of the Kimberley Land Council.
The project area can be accessed by air services to Kununurra or Broome and then by road (Great Northern Highway). Air charter services can land at the small Halls Creek aerodrome. Generally access within the project area is good via station tracks, fence lines and old exploration grid lines. An exploration camp has been established in Halls Creek comprising an office, accommodation, storage shed and core processing facilities. Infrastructure in the area is limited, with basic services and supplies available in Halls Creek.