There are a number of legacy mine sites which pose a risk to the environment and/or public safety. Most of these sites ceased operations before 2005 and predated the requirement for operators to lodge a rehabilitation security bond and have either inadequate or non existent securities. The estimated level of historical mining liabilities in the NT is $1 billion.
In the Territory these amounts have previously been confidential, but we know it is important for Territorians to know the mining industry is being held accountable. With that in mind, we are moving in line with other jurisdictions to make security amounts available to the public: NT Minister Ken Vowles
The contamination of land, water, air and wildlife can be seen across the region. The Redbank Copper Mine was abandoned in the mid-1990s, with an estimated 54,000 tonnes of partially treated acid-forming material left exposed to the monsoonal rains for 17 years. Poor management has resulted in highly toxic waste bleeding into nearby waterways.