Redbank mine works enable hydrogeological monitoring

A comprehensive fieldwork program has been completed at the Redbank mine site in the NT to assist in developing an understanding of the hydrogeological conditions at the site. The works involved include the construction of new bores, and the installation of telemetry equipment and pumps to monitor and reduce the amount of seepage from the site.

NT Minister for Mines and Energy, Willem Westra van Holthe, said the works at the Redbank site for 2014 were now completed and ongoing data collection and analyses would occur over the wet season.

“I made a commitment last year to undertake work at Redbank through the Legacy Mining Fund and it’s pleasing to see that the on the ground works for this critical study have been completed,” he said.

“The Department of Mines and Energy (DME) has worked hard to put these first steps in place towards remediating the site, with work taking six months to complete.”

“To understand the hydrogeology at the site and the mechanisms for seepage of contaminated water into the surrounding environment, a groundwater investigation had to first take place.”

“Works began with an electromagnetic survey to identify areas of higher conductivity that may indicate preferential pathways for the migration of mine impacted water.”

“Results from the survey were then used to define a drilling program for the site, which included the installation of 19 new groundwater bores in August.”

Mr Westra van Holthe said monitoring equipment was installed in a number of these bores to monitor the groundwater levels and quality. In addition, a weather station, pit level gauge, and satellite telemetry were installed at the site.

“To reduce mine impacted water leaving the site, a seepage interception trench was installed to capture contaminated seepage and pump it back into the pit.”

“Solar powered pumps were placed in the trench and one of the bores and can be controlled via satellite telemetry from the Darwin DME office.”

“This is a great initiative to help understand the hydrogeological conditions at the site and to monitor the conditions throughout the wet season from Darwin as the site can be inaccessible for up to six months due to its isolation.”

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