Trial landform research at Ranger mine

Supervising Scientist, 2010

Supervising Scientist Note series
Contact officer: Mike Saynor Physico-Chemical Processes Program

About the note

The Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) is conducting research on a trial rehabilitation landform of 200m x 400m (8 ha) at the Ranger Mine. The work is being done in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Strategy in Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) to provide critical information that will help with the design and the successful establishment of plants on the rehabilitated final landform once mining and processing have finished on the site.

The vegetation research is being undertaken by ERA to determine if there is any difference between using seeds or small plants (tube stock) to try and establish vegetation on the trial landform. The two surface cover types have had seeds or small plants planted to see if they grow any differently. Four erosion plots (30m x 30m) were constructed by eriss on the landform surface during the dry season of 2009 to measure rates of erosion.

Data will be continued to be collected from the trial landform for the next few wet seasons to see what the erosion rate might be and also to see what is in the water that is running off the trial landform. This information will be used in landform evolution models to assist with developing the best design for the construction of the final landform once mining has finished at Ranger. ERA's research on vegetation will be used to determine the most appropriate types of native vegetation that will be planted on the final landform to give the best match with the surrounding natural bushland environment.