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NLC pushes for action at Redbank Mine

Posted: Wed, September 18, 2013

NT Minister for Mines and Energy Willem Westra van Holthe with, from left, William Davey, Wilton Timothy and John Clarke at Hanrahans Creek.

THE Northern Land Council will continue to push for the rehabilitation of the Redbank Mine site.

At a meeting coordinated by the NLC at Borroloola over two days earlier this week (15-16 September), Traditional Owners of the area were joined by the NT Government’s Willem Westra van Holthe (Minister for Mines and Energy) and Peter Chandler (Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment), representatives from the Carpentaria Land Council, the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, the NT Environmental Protection Authority, and Redbank Copper Pty Ltd.

Background to Redbank Mine
COPPER deposits were discovered at Redbank early in the 20th Century and have been mined intermittently since that time.

The site is located about 30km from the Queensland border, south of Borroloola, in the NT’s south-east.

Legacy issues include the pollution of Hanrahans Creek and Settlement Creek by acidic metal-laden waters emanating from the mine.

This contamination appears in places as bright green water and in the absence of aquatic life in and vegetation alongside the creeks.

These issues are largely a result of operations of previous owners that left the site prior to 1996.

Operations continued off and on at the site up until 2008 when the site was placed into care and maintenance.

Meeting held onsite at Redbank Mine
THE recent meeting was designed to bring key stakeholders together to discuss concerns and options for the remediation of Redbank Mine. Representatives at the meeting saw firsthand the contamination at the site during a visit to the affected area.

Mr Westra van Holthe told the meeting that remediation of Redbank was a priority legacy issue for the Northern Territory Government.

The Minister also announced his intention to apply monies from the Mining Remediation Fund (raised by the one per cent levy on new and existing Environmental Rehabilitation Security Bonds) toward fixing the ongoing pollution and contamination issues at Redbank Mine.

In a proactive move, the meeting saw the formation of a committee of key stakeholders to assist with driving the remediation process.

Speaking after returning from the meeting at Borroloola, acting CEO of the NLC Robert Graham said that this is a problem that has to be fixed.

“The NLC welcomes the commitment of Minister Westra van Holthe to the remediation of Redbank Mine and we look forward to the same treatment given to other sites across the Territory,” Mr Graham said.

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NLC pushes for action at Redbank Mine site