Sandy Flat Mine (former Redbank Mine)

Redbank is located in the Gulf region of the Northern Territory (NT) approximately 30km west of the Queensland / NT border and 70km inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Hanrahan’s Creek and the Savannah Way run along the north western boundary of the site.

Mining activities at the site led to environmental impacts primarily caused by acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD), resulting in pollution of Hanrahan’s Creek.


Copper oxide was first discovered in the area in 1916.

Since then, the Redbank copper deposits have been worked intermittently.

The Sandy Flat site has been in care and maintenance for over a decade.

The activity which is responsible for the current environmental impacts predominantly occurred between 1994 and 1996.

This included:

  • mining from the Sandy Flat Pit
  • processing to produce copper concentrate.

Read more about the history.

Cultural importance

Redbank and surrounding land are significant to the Traditional Owners.

A number of sites of significance are also known to exist along Hanrahan's Creek and further downstream.

The NT Government is working with Traditional Owners to provide a forum for stakeholders to be informed regarding activities at the site.

Read more about the cultural importance of Redbank Mine.

Remediation works

Remediation of this site is complex.

Extensive planning and consultation is required to identify the most appropriate remediation model.

A lot of studies have been completed to inform the remediation planning, including:

  • waste characterisation and
  • a conceptual hydrogeological model and water load balance model.

Read more about the remediation works and studies.

Site plans

Below are photos, downloadable site plans and a video of the site.

Sandy Flat Copper Mine in operation (February 1996).Sandy Flat Pit containing little water in February 1996Sandy Flat Pit containing considerably more water 14 months later (May 1997).Assessing some of the impact from acid metalliferous drainage (AMD) at Echo Creek. (November 2003)Southern low flow (seepage collection) drain. (2004)Precipitate in the base of Hanrahans Pool (2011)Precipitate on the stream bed in Hanrahan’s Creek (2011)Confluence of 12 Mile Creek and Echo Creek, downstream of Redbank (2011)Copper precipitate in the former vat leach pond (2011)Staining in the creek bed (2011)View of the high flow diversion drain looking west (2012)Redbank plant area looking north-east (2012)Hanrahans Creek downstream of Hanrahans Pool (2012)Bleaching of the rock at Moonlight Falls (2013)View of the plant looking north (2013)On-site looking east across the tailings dam (2013)View of the heap leach ponds (2013)View of the Sandy Flat Pit with the inflow drain in the foreground (2013)View of the heap leach pad and associated irrigation system on the right and part of the tailings dam to the left (2013)View of the top of a heap leach pad, including the irrigation system (2013) View of the mine site looking north (2013).Hanrahans Pool during the dry season (August 2014)Downstream from Hanrahans Pool during the dry season (August 2014)
A section of Echo Creek showing dieback of vegetation. (October 2012)

Aerial photos

Aerial photograph of Redbank Mine, showing Hanrahan’s Pool in the foreground (July 2012).Aerial image of the Redbank Mine (2013)Aerial photograph taken during the wet season looking towards the south with Savannah Way in the foreground (January 2013)

Watch the video below that shows a bird's-eye view of the site.


For more information, email

Last updated: 24 October 2022

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