Open pit rehabilitation

A breakthrough for the Northern Territory Government comes as Stage 3 of the Rum Jungle Rehabilitation Project gets the green light, following a Federal Government funding agreement for the project. 

The funding is a significant milestone for the project which seeks to empower Traditional Owners through training and employment opportunities, as well as improve the environmental condition of the former Rum Jungle Mine and surrounding area.

The Northern Territory Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade is recruiting Traditional Owners to rehabilitate the site and strengthen cultural connection to land, working in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Madeleine King, said, “The Federal Government remains a steadfast supporter of the Rum Jungle Rehabilitation Project and advancing First Nations Australians through reconnection to rehabilitated land.

“This project milestone demonstrates our commitment to improving the condition of the land, preserving Indigenous heritage and culture, and empowering Traditional Owners with training and jobs in conservation land management.”

Stage 3 implementation works will occur in phases, with physical works already underway. Procurement for the major contracts has commenced with the Future Tender Opportunity released this week.

Stage 3 of the Rum Jungle Rehabilitation Project works will include:

  • Groundwater and surface water treatment
  • Bulk earthworks to deconstruct existing waste rock dumps and reform storage facilities for chemically and physically safe long-term storage
  • Establish cover systems for new storage facilities
  • Pit backfilling with lime amended rock and establishing cover system
  • Realignment of water course and installation of erosion and sediment control features, including fish passage features
  • Establishment, operation and closure of clean fill excavation pits
  • Ecological restoration of site and surrounds including revegetation, weed, feral animals and fire management
  • Supporting management of radiation, safety, environment and cultural requirements
  • Public road upgrades and modifications to support safety

The former Rum Jungle Mine was first opened as a mining site in the 1950s and is located approximately 105km south of Darwin and 6km north of Batchelor.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have been working to improve environmental conditions in the region since the 1980s, culminating in the current Rum Jungle Rehabilitation Project which commenced in 2009.

The project has occurred in a series of staged works, which has most recently included empowering ten Warai and Kungarakan people with conservation and land management skills through a Traineeship with the Department of Industry Tourism and Trade. 

Of the ten trainees, five are now Northern Territory Government employees within the Rum Jungle Project team.

Northern Territory Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison, said “The Northern Territory Government is working with the Warai and Kungarakan people to strengthen land and water sustainability, environmental care and cultural connection.

“We thank the Federal Government for their significant contribution to the Rum Jungle Rehabilitation Project, and we look forward to commencing stage 3 implementation works in the region.”

Northern Territory Member for Daly Dheran Young said,I’m really proud of the Territory Labor Government and Federal Government working together to ensure Aboriginal Communities have meaningful employment and discussion about what happens on their land.

“As the Member for Daly, I’d like to thank the Federal Government for their contribution, which will ensure Kungarakan and Warai people have more options around the future use of their land.”


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