Miller, JP 2019, 'Environmental regulatory oversight: transitioning from an operational to rehabilitation framework', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 771-780.
The primary objective of the Supervising Scientist is to protect the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region in the Northern Territory from the potential impacts of uranium mining activities, including uranium extraction and processing operations at the Ranger uranium mine (Ranger). The Supervising Scientist role was established in 1978 under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978. Operations at Ranger commenced in 1980, mining ceased in 2012, and stockpiled ore will continue to be processed until 2021. All rehabilitation works must be completed by 2026.
Environmental protection is assured through the Supervising Scientist’s regulatory oversight program, which includes the assessment of mining and rehabilitation plans, reports and proposals, and a program of mine site inspections and environmental audits. The Supervising Scientist uses a risk-based approach to conduct impact assessment and site-specific research and monitoring to inform regulatory decision-making. This regulatory oversight role has been tailored to the nature and transitional status of Ranger from an operational to rehabilitating site.
This case study provides an overview of the Supervising Scientist’s role in the regulatory oversight of Ranger. It looks at recent initiatives and refinements in oversight activities designed to ensure the regulatory system continues to assure the protection of the Alligator Rivers Region.
Keywords: consultation, environmental assessment, regulation, rehabilitation, supervision
Commonwealth of Australia 1953, Atomic Energy Act 1953.
Commonwealth of Australia 1977, Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, Second Report, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra,
Commonwealth of Australia 1978, Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978.
Department of the Environment and Energy 1999, Environmental Requirements of the Commonwealth of Australia for the Operation of Ranger Uranium Mine, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra,
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd 2018, Ranger Mine Closure Plan,
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd 2019, ASX Announcement: Ranger Project Area - Closure Feasibility Study Finalisation,
Government of the Northern Territory 2001, Mining Management Act 2001