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Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee



Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee


Johnston, A.; Prendergast, J. B.; Bridgewater, Peter


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Supervising Scientist Report; 138




Alligator Rivers Region

Table of contents

Main report--Appendix 2 of the Main Report. Submission to the Mission of the World Heritage Committee by some Australian Scientists ... --Attachment A. Johnston A. and Needham S. 1999. Protection of the environment near the Ranger uranium mine--Attachment B. Bureau of Meteorology 1999. Hydrometeorological analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment C. Jones, R.N., Hennessy, K.J. and Abbs, D.J. 1999. Climate change analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment D. Chiew, F and Wang, Q.J. 1999. Hydrological anaysis relevant to surface water storage at Jabiluka--Attachment E. Kalf, F. and Dudgeon, C. 1999. Analysis of long term groundwater dispersal of contaminants from proposed Jabiluka mine tailings repositories--Appendix 2 of Attachment E. Simulation of leaching on non-reactive and radionuclide contaminants from proposed Jabiluka silo banks.




Uranium mill tailings - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Alligator Rivers Region; Environmental impact analysis - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Uranium mines and mining - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Jabiluka - Environmental aspects

Publisher name

Environment Australia

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


Supervising Scientist Report; 138


1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations, maps

File type






Copyright owner

Environment Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462403; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462400; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462405; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462406; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462408; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462409; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462411

Page content

79 Figure 6.3.3 Model section A-B-C, hydrological units, surface and sub-surface features near Jabiluka The shallow aquifer is contained within topographic valley catchments carved into the surrounding Kombolgie Sandstone to the west (ie Mine Valley) and to the east (Swift Creek and its tributaries). This aquifer is comprised of sands and silts up to about 13 m in thickness (ERAES 1998). Beneath this aquifer lies the weathered bedrock which extends down tens of metres below the upper aquifer within the drainage valleys. The deeper aquifer comprises essentially fractured quartz sandstone over most of the area and schists and carbonates of the Cahill Formation further west. The Magela floodplain sediments consist largely of grey and organic clays and silts, with prior stream channel deposits of sand and silt. The permeability of the sandstone/schist has been estimated by Foley in ERAES (1998) to be in the range 0.017 to 0.1 m/day in Mine Valley, whereas further west the permeability of the shallow carbonate/schist has been reported at 0.08 to 0.2 m/day. East of the groundwater divide AGC-Woodward Clyde (1993) reported only very low flows above the sandstone schist contact and ERAES (1998) reported permeabilities in the range 0.001 to 1.2 m/day between the divide and Swift Creek, and 3x10-2 to 3x10-4 m/day in the Kombolgie Sandstone in this area. Kalf and Dudgeon (1999) conclude that the tailings silos should be excavated in the lower permeability Kombolgie sandstone east of the orebody, as is currently planned by ERA. This choice of location will minimise potential environmental impacts. Analysis of waters within the groundwater system indicates that soluble salt concentrations in shallow groundwater near the orebody are in the range 620680 S/cm, with pH between 7.1 and 7.6. Chloride concentrations were between 6 and 20 mg/L, sulphate less than 14 mg/L, bicarbonate 50223 mg/L and silica 512 mg/L (Deutscher et al 1980). Groundwater salinity to the east of the divide is low over a range of measured depths with reported values between

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