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), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 525-534.
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
Bartolo, R, Harford, A, & van Dam, RA n.d., ‘Rehabilitation and close-out ecological risk assessment for Ranger Uranium Mine: Risk screening and prioritization’, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, submitted for publication.
Bartolo, R, Paulka, S, van Dam, RA, Iles, S & Harford, A 2013, Rehabilitation and closure ecological risk assessment for Ranger Uranium Mine: Documentation of initial problem formulation activities, Internal Report 624, Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra.
Commonwealth of Australia 1978, Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978.
Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, www.waterquality.gov.au/anz-guidelines
Department of the Environment and Energy 1999, Environmental Requirements of the Commonwealth of Australia for the Operation of the Ranger Uranium Mine, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra,
Department of the Environment and Energy 2017, Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee: Key Knowledge Needs: Uranium Mining in the Alligator Rivers Region, Supervising Scientist Report 213, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
Director of National Parks 2016, Kakadu National Park Management Plan 2016-2026, Department of Environment and Energy, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd 2018, Ranger Mine Closure Plan, Revision number 0.18.0,
Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand 2009, AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management—principles and guidelines.
Standards Reference Group SERA 2017, National standards for the practice of ecological restoration in Australia, 2nd edn, Society for Ecological Restoration in Australia.
US Environmental Protection Agency 1998, Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment, EPA/630/R‐95/002F, United States of America, Washington.