Issue 7
Monday, 03 September 2018
Charles Darwin University
Dr Andersen assisting with restoration plans of Ranger Mine
Dr Andersen assisting with restoration plans of Ranger Mine

Small creatures link to Ranger mine rehab

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

One of the world’s top ant experts is leading a project to help monitor the restoration of a major mine surrounded by Kakadu National Park.

Professorial Fellow Dr Alan Andersen’s team will help with the rehabilitation of the Ranger uranium mine by identifying benchmarks for both invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

Effective rehabilitation is a major challenge for many active and legacy mines across Northern Australia. Best practice rehabilitation aims to ultimately restore both flora and fauna.

“It’s very early days, but we’re focussing on what animals, including invertebrates, exist in a healthy ecosystem surrounding the mine,” Dr Andersen said.

“With the mine due to be incorporated into Kakadu after its closure, it’s critical to know which animals should be living at the site if rehabilitation is successful. A key way to do that is to work out what animals are currently living near Kakadu.”

Dr Andersen said there was presently little data on invertebrates in the area. He will survey and identify invertebrates present at reference sites next to the mine and in the surrounding Kakadu National Park.

The project is funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program. It is a partnership between CDU, the Australian Government’s Supervising Scientist Branch, the NT Government and Energy Resources of Australia Ltd.