Bartolo, RE, Nicholson, J, Rudge, M, Loewensteiner, D, Whiteside, T, Erskine, P, Barnes, M & Humphrey, CL 2019, 'An approach to an ecosystem restoration standard for Ranger Uranium Mine', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1267-1280, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1915_100_Bartolo
Rehabilitation of the Ranger mine site, located in the Northern Territory, Australia, must be completed by the mine operator, Energy Resources Australia Limited (ERA), by 2026. The Supervising Scientist (Australian government’s Department of the Environment and Energy) has developed a series of rehabilitation standards against which the success of rehabilitation can be measured. These standards are not mandatory but will form the basis of the Supervising Scientist’s advice on ERA’s proposed closure criteria and rehabilitation plans, and the eventual success of rehabilitation.
A number of the standards describe the requirements for the onsite environment, including the performance of, and restoration associated with, the re-constructed landform. This presentation will focus on the ecosystem restoration standard and is complementary to the landform stability standard (presented at this forum also). The ecosystem restoration standard considers all requirements for restoring the terrestrial ecosystem of the Ranger Project Area (including riparian areas). The paper addresses the following topics:
Keywords: closure criteria, ecosystem restoration, rehabilitation standard, scaling, drones
Andersen, AN 2019, Faunal closure criteria for the rehabilitation of Ranger Uranium Mine, Charles Darwin University, Darwin.
Commonwealth of Australia 1978, Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978, viewed 9 June 2019,
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection 2014, Rehabilitation requirements for mining resource activities, ESR/2016/1875 (formerly EM1122), Brisbane, viewed 2 April 2019,
Department of the Environment and Energy 2018, Key Knowledge Needs for Ranger Uranium Mine, Australian Government,
Department of the Environment and Heritage 1999, Environmental requirements of the Commonwealth of Australia for the operation of the Ranger Uranium Mine, Canberra.
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd 2018, Ranger Mine Closure Plan, viewed 2 April 2019,
Environmental Protection Authority 2006, Rehabilitation of Terrestrial Ecosystems (GS6), Government of Western Australia, Perth, viewed 2 April 2019,
Erskine, PD, Bartolo, R, McKenna, P & Humphrey, C 2019, ‘Using reference sites to guide ecological engineering and restoration of an internationally significant urnaium mine in the Northern territory, Australia’, Ecological Engineering, vol 129, pp. 61–70.
Garde, M 2015, Closure Criteria Development—Cultural, Darwin.
Society for Ecological Restoration 2016, National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia, viewed 2 April 2019,
Supervising Scientist 2019a, Technical Advice 006: Species richness and composition indicator values for assessing ecosystem similarity for savanna woodland, Darwin.
Supervising Scientist 2019b, Technical Advice 007: Vegetation strata, woody plant species size class distribution and total basal area data for use as indicator values, Darwin.
Supervising Scientist 2019c, Technical Advice 008: Canopy cover indicator value for assessing ecosystem similarity for savanna woodland, Darwin.
Supervising Scientist 2018a, Rehabilitation Standards for the Ranger Uranium Mine, viewed 9 June 2019,
Supervising Scientist 2018b, Ecosystem Restoration – Rehabilitation Standard for the Ranger Uranium Mine (version 1), viewed 9 June 2019,
Supervising Scientist 2018c, Landform Stability – Rehabilitation Standard for the Ranger Uranium Mine (version 1), viewed 9 June 2019,
Wells, MR 1979, Soil studies in the Magela Creek catchment 1978, Part 1, Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission, Darwin.
Whiteside, TG, Esparon, AJ & Bartolo, RE n.d., ‘A semi-automated approach for quantitative mapping of woody cover from historical time series aerial photography and satellite imagery’, Ecological Informatics, submitted for publication.
Williams, AV, Nevill, PG & Krauss, SL 2014, ‘Next generation restoration genetics: applications and opportunities’, Trends in Plant Science, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 529–537.