Authors: Welch, MA; Bartolo, RE; Harford, AJ

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Welch, MA, Bartolo, RE & Harford, AJ 2019, 'A framework for identification and planning of environmental research needs to inform rehabilitation of 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. 525-534,

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Through the implementation of a framework to identify and prioritise environmental research needs, the knowledge required to successfully rehabilitate the Ranger uranium mine will be systematically obtained and applied to ensure rehabilitation objectives are achieved, and the people and the environment of Kakadu National Park are protected into the future. The framework initially involved a screening-level environmental risk assessment focused on rehabilitation and was undertaken in collaboration with the mine operator, subject matter experts, and stakeholders. Key identified risks included contamination of ground and surface water, soils and sediments; erosion of the constructed post-mining landform; failure to develop a functional and self-sustaining ecosystem; and radiation exposure to humans and the environment. A knowledge gap analysis was conducted against each of the high and critical risks identified in the risk assessment, which identified several key knowledge needs (KKNs). Research project/s required to address the KKNs were systematically identified and closely linked to the mine rehabilitation schedule, to ensure the information will be available when it is needed. A formal process, including review by stakeholders, has been developed to modify or close-out KKNs as research work is completed and the required knowledge is acquired.

Keywords: environmental risk assessment, rehabilitation planning, stakeholders, project management

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