The Northern Territory’s Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NT DPIR) is proposing to rehabilitate the former Rum Jungle mine site, which is located approximately 105 kilometres (by road) south of Darwin, near Batchelor.
The site of the former mine was declared a Restricted Use Area in 1989 under the Soil Conservation and Land Utilisation Act (Northern Territory) and is closed to public access.
Mining and mineral processing occurred from 1954 to 1971, producing 3,530 tonnes of uranium oxide and 20,000 tonnes of copper concentrate.
Activities at the site led to significant environmental impacts primarily caused by acid rock drainage, resulting in pollution of the East Branch of the Finniss River.
The site underwent rehabilitation from 1983 to 1986 at a total cost of $18.6 million.
This month it was revealed that the NT DPIR is considering rehabilitating the site to address the long-term environmental legacy issues at Rum Jungle and the nearby satellite sites of Mount Fitch and Mount Burton – caused by the generation of acid and metalliferous drainage.
The proposal requires assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act 1982 and is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; controlling provisions are sections 18 and 18A (listed threatened species and communities) and 21 and 22A (Protection of the environment from nuclear actions).
The proposal will be assessed as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the bilateral agreement between the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.
The NT EPA has amended its Terms of Reference for the preparation of an EIS due to a variation of the Proposal.
Interested persons and organisations are invited to comment on the draft Terms of Reference for the EIS. To obtain a copy of the draft Terms of Reference, please visit the ‘For Your Comment’ page here.