Warning: Abandoned mines are dangerous places. Do not enter abandoned mines.
The Bulong site is located approximately 40 km east of Kalgoorlie adjacent to Lake Yindarlgooda. Nickel mining operations were undertaken at Bulong between 1996 and 2005 when the operating company went into receivership. The mining lease over the tailings storage facility (TSF) and evaporation ponds was forfeited in 2013 and this component of the operation was abandoned. The TSF and evaporation ponds were selected as a rehabilitation project under the Abandoned Mines Program due to concerns expressed by the community and the potential for impacts to the adjacent lake system.
A detailed site investigation and ecological risk assessment have been undertaken to characterise potential contamination associated with the facility. No risks to human health from contamination have been identified and risks to the lake ecology have been assessed as low.
Further work is being undertaken to assess the long-term stability of the TSF and to develop a rehabilitation plan in consultation with key stakeholders.
Bulong shaft identification project
While undertaking work at the Bulong site, abandoned mine features close to the site were observed that are not in the abandoned mine inventory. To undertake the work of mapping these features, the department engaged an Aboriginal business to locate and document features within an area close to the Bulong site as a pilot project.
The project mapped 54 previously unidentified abandoned mine features in an area of 80 ha. It is envisaged this project will be expanded in the future to map larger areas and rehabilitate features in high-priority locations.
For more information on how the Western Australian State Government is addressing the risks associated with abandoned mine features through management and rehabilitation view Abandoned Mines Program.