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Bed Load Losses from Experimental Plots on a Rehabilitated Uranium Mine in Northern Australia


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Author M J Saynor and W D Erskine


Ranger Uranium Mine, surrounded by Kakadu National Park is located in the Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) in the wet-dry monsoonal tropics, 250 km east of Darwin, Northern Territory. A trial landform (TLF), measuring approximately 200 m by 400 m (8 ha) was constructed during late 2008 and early 2009 by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), adjacent to the northwestern wall of the tailings storage facility at the Ranger Mine. A collaborative research program involving the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) and ERA, has been underway to measure long-term (five to ten year) rainfall, run-off, sediment and solute losses, seepage and vegetation establishment on the TLF (Saynor et al, 2012; Lowry et al, 2014). This paper reports on bed load losses from four erosion plots built on the TLF. These were achieved by physically isolating approximately 30 × 30 m areas from the surrounding landform on three sides with sidewalls along with an open polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe on the downslope side. Each plot was instrumented with a range of sensors. Two plots, 1 and 2 were constructed on waste rock material, while plots 3 and 4 were constructed on waste rock mixed with approximately 30 per cent lateritic material. Plots 1 and 4 had tube stock planted in early 2009, and plots 2 and 3 were initially planted by direct seeding in July 2009 and were infill planted with tube stock in January 2011.


Saynor, M J and Erskine, W D,
2016. Bed load losses from experimental plots on a rehabilitated uranium mine in
northern Australia, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference , pp 168–171 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).