Reclaiming a former mine site to improve environmental conditions

During its operational years from 1954 to 1971, Australia’s Rum Jungle mine produced 3,530 tonnes of uranium oxide and 20,000 tonnes of copper concentrate, but the area was significantly impacted as a result.

Key information

Location: Northern Territory, Australia

Date started: 2019

Completion date: 2020

Client type: Natural resources

Key services: Controls and performance, cost and commercial management

Environmental impact

Historic mining activities at the site, which is located approximately 105km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, led to significant environmental and cultural impact, primarily caused by acid rock drainage, resulting in pollution of the East Branch of the Finniss River.

A key priority for the Northern Territory government was to rehabilitate the mine site in order to restore water quality within the river and improve onsite environmental conditions to support future land use.

Although the site underwent rehabilitation between 1983 and 1986, costing AUD$18.6m and which substantially reduced pollution, recent studies have documented ongoing impact to downstream systems.

Informing an updated rehabilitation strategy

We developed the capital cost estimate, schedule and contingency for the business case for the rehabilitation of the mine. Our approach involved a quantitative risk analysis to produce a model that integrated cost, schedule, cashflow and escalation over 35 years.

This contributed to the establishment of robust baselines to support the onward detailed business case, which, once complete, will seek the required level of funding from the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments.

Legacy work

The legacy that will be created by delivering the required project outcomes is evident: the positive impacts through improved environmental conditions such as reduced pollution and public health hazards, as well as restoring cultural values, will be recognised by future generations.

The project will also generate indigenous workforce training and employment opportunities as part of the execution strategy.

For further information contact:

Mahesh Manoharan