Protecting the Alligator Rivers Region from the effects of uranium mining
The Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) is located about 220 km east of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. The ARR includes Kakadu National Park, which is a World Heritage area and is listed under the Ramsar convention on wetlands. Uranium exploration and mining in the ARR began in the 1950s, and by the mid-1960s four major deposits were identified. These were Ranger, Jabiluka, Koongarra and Nabarlek.
Today, Ranger mine is currently the only operational uranium mine in the ARR. In accordance with current approvals, all mining and processing activities at Ranger must cease by 2021 and all decommissioning works, including revegetation of the site, must be completed by 2026.
The Supervising Scientist Branch ensures the protection of the ARR and the local communities from the effects of uranium mining by undertaking environmental research and monitoring, participating in and overseeing the regulatory process and developing standards and practices for environmental protection. The branch currently has a large number of research and assessment projects underway that focus on the rehabilitation of the Ranger mine.