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The impact of rip lines on erosion at the Ranger Mine Site


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Author M J Saynor and J B C Lowry


The Ranger Uranium Mine is located in the wet-dry monsoonal tropics approximately 250 km east of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia (Figure 1). Mining of open-cut ore bodies commenced in 1980 (Pit 1) and ceased in 2012 (Pit 3) and milling and production are scheduled to cease by 2021. At the conclusion of mining and milling operations, mine tailings will be returned to the mined out pits 1 and 3, which must then be physically isolated from the environment for at least 10,000 years (Australian Government 1999). The final landform also needs to have sufficient mitigation measures in place to ensure that areas downstream are not impacted by erosion products from the mine site. The proposed post-mining rehabilitated landform will cover approximately 847 hectares (8.5 km2) which represents an area that has the potential to supply sediment to catchments and streams downstream. One method of reducing runoff and associated sediment is the construction of rip lines along the contour to slow down the runoff velocity and to also trap fine sediment and nutrients in the depressions to assist vegetation growth.


Saynor, M J and Lowry, J B C, 2018. The impact of rip lines on erosion at the Ranger Mine Site, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2018, pp 150–154 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).