7.1 Award-winning closure planning and rehabilitation at Union Reefs
The annual Northern Territory Ministerial Recognition Awards in Resource Development are aimed at recognising significant achievement, best practice and innovation in the Northern Territory's minerals and petroleum industries. There are three categories of awards: Workplace Safety, Environmental Management, and Local Content and Community Relations.
In a ceremony at the Northern Territory Minerals Council Safety Conference in April 2004, Union Reefs mine won first place in the Environmental Management category. The award, presented by Mines and Energy Minister Kon Vatskalis, was made for 'commitment, planning and implementation of best practice rehabilitation throughout all stages of design, operation and closure at Union Reefs Mine'. The mine also received a commendation in the Workplace Safety category.
(See press release below issued by the Northern Territory Minerals Council on the Report to Society 2004
Faye Lawton (Environmental Superintendent at Union Reefs) received the award on behalf of AngloGold Ashanti. Says Mike LeRoy, Australia's health, safety and environmental manager, "This was a commendable achievement for the mine, operational personnel and particularly for Faye who has received strong recognition for environmental management and rehabilitation from the Northern Territory Government."
Mining commenced at Union Reefs in December 1994 and continued uninterrupted until operations ceased in September 2003. But from the start of operations, closure was already being planned.
In 2000, Union Reefs committed to developing a detailed mine closure plan with steps taken to define appropriate rehabilitation objectives and stakeholder requirements. In November 2001, a decommissioning and closure plan was developed, which outlined the activities required to meet end land use and mine closure objectives for the site. This plan was aligned with the regional environmental and community guide for decommissioning and closure. Key stakeholders were given the opportunity to review the decommissioning and closure plan and to provide input and comment. Their suggestions were reviewed and incorporated into the final plan.
Says Mike LeRoy, "The total area disturbed during the operation of the mine was 527 hectares.
By September 2003, progressive rehabilitation had accounted for 90% of this area. The remainder of the rehabilitation work includes areas associated with mining infrastructure, processing, water management and camp facilities."
Union Reefs has been on care-and-maintenance since operations ceased and was recently sold to a local consortium, so the mine will continue to provide work and revenues for the Pine Creek community.
Resource Industry Awards
01 April 2004
The 2003 Northern Territory Ministerial Recognition Awards in
Resource Development will tonight be presented at the annual NT Minerals Council
Mines and Energy Minister, Kon Vatskalis, said 12
nominations were received for the awards, which recognise significant
achievement, best practice and innovation in the Territory's minerals and
petroleum industries in the areas of Workplace Safety, Environmental Management,
Mining, Petroleum and Process Technology, Local Content and Community Relations.
"This is the seventh presentation of the Minister's
Recognition Awards in Resource Development," he said.
"Since 1997, a total 62 awards have been presented
recognising outstanding achievement.
"The judging panels have reported that the standard
received this year has been exceptionally high, and I thank all those who took
the time and effort to put in an application."
Mr Vatskalis said the winners in each category of the Awards are:
Won by Roche Mining, for commitment to
implementing safety systems and encouraging a safety culture resulting in six
years Lost Time Injury free at the Granites mine site.
Won by Gemco for achieving industry best practice
in rehabilitation through improved work practice, technology and remediation of
historic work areas; and also by AngloGold Australia (Union Reefs)
for commitment, planning and implementation of best practice rehabilitation
throughout all stages of design, operation and closure at Union Reefs Mine.
Faye Lawton, receiving the award
Community Relations and Local Content:
Won by McArthur River Mining for further strengthening of its commitment in the
local community and encouragement and support of local business; and Gemco
for the establishment of a partnership resulting in an effective training;
development and employment program for the local community.
Issued by the Northern Territory Minerals Council