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A journey with Kakadu Native Plants to mine rehabilitation

1 Oct 2019

The relationship between ERA and a local Indigenous business, Kakadu Native Plants Pty Ltd began in 2005. The goal of this partnership is to propagate local seeds, collected with a permit from the mine lease and within Kakadu National Park, to then be used to rehabilitate disturbed land on the Ranger Project Area in accordance with the Ranger Mine Closure Plan. 

Kakadu Native Plants are a vital resource in collaborating with ERA over the past 14 years. Kakadu Native Plants are currently supporting the mine rehabilitation by means of seed collection, raising seedlings and in time, planting on the final landform. The aim is that Kakadu Native Plants will remain a sustainable, ongoing local Indigenous business that will strive well beyond the mine closure.

Peter Christophersen, well known in the Jabiru community as Christo, is the owner/operator of Kakadu Native Plants. Christo and his team at Kakadu Native Plants have extensive knowledge of the areas flora and fauna and take pride in caring for country. This is a great partnership in delivering world-class rehabilitation as it combines local traditional expertise and knowledge which goes back thousands of years and extensive scientific research in the rehabilitation of the Ranger Mine Area.

Kakadu Native Plants spend their time seed searching and collecting from within the National Park and on the Ranger Project Area as well as planting seeds and caring for seedlings in the Nursery. By raising seedlings from local seeds the species have already proven themselves able to thrive in the unique Northern Territory landscape.

The seeds chosen, will grow into the native trees and shrubs identified as suitable for planting onsite and will play an important role in providing fresh clean air, storing carbon, restoring biodiversity, and providing future habitat for native wildlife. 

Rehabilitation of the Ranger Mine Area is important to ERA, to Kakadu Native Plants and importantly Mirarr Traditional owners and to the Jabiru community. The journey to the rehabilitation of Ranger Mine Area is a journey we take together and in consultation.

During the Mahbilil Festival and in conjunction with Kakadu Native Plants, members of the community were able to plant seeds which in time will be planted and form part of the rehabilitation of the mine.

Over 140 seeds collected by Kakadu Native Plants were planted by community during the festival, many of them were accompanied by messages from those who planted them. A number of special messages were written from well wishes for the seeds to thrive and planting for the next generation right through to planting in memory of loved ones.

Community members are now a part of the legacy, a part of history and will have contributed to the rehabilitation of the area for which many generations to come can enjoy.

The partnership with Kakadu Native Plants will ensure the success of the Ranger Mine Rehabilitation to support ERA’s long-term vision that is to return the disturbed area to a viable ecosystem in line with its obligations to stakeholders and regulators, and the expectations of the community.

ERA continues to undertake research and monitor the progression of the rehabilitation, learning from and adapting techniques. The monitoring has demonstrated resilience, good survival rates, and the return of other native flora and fauna. You can read our Mine Closure Plan for more detail.