Elverdton is located on Southern Noogar and Wagl Kaip Indigenous Land Use Agreement area 11 km south-east of Ravensthorpe within the Fitzgerald Biosphere.

Copper, silver and gold mining began in the area in 1899, with major periods of copper ore production between 1901-1918 and 1957-1971. The historic site is loosely defined by a number of abandoned mine features comprising the tailings stockpiles, underground mine shafts and mine infrastructure. Approximately 700,000 tonnes of uncontained tailings from mining activities remain on site. Community concerns relating to the downstream movement of tailings material within the Steere River have been noted since the tenement forfeiture in 1992. This led to Elverdton being selected as one of the Abandoned Mines Program’s initial projects when the program was established. The project is focused on mitigating the impact of tailings material to the surrounding environment.

The Elverdton project was placed on hold in 2020 following the sample plan for the detailed site investigation. The decision to place the project on hold was endorsed by the Contaminated Sites Auditor due to insufficient Mining Rehabilitation Fund interest earnings to enable further work.

Increases in interest earnings on the fund enabled the recommencement of the project in 2023.

Strategic Objectives

  1. To minimise significant environmental and safety risks associated with early mining activities in the Elverdton project area.
  2. To enhance the potential future value of the site through rehabilitation.


Program implementation framework

Desktop assessment Investigation Planning Implementation Monitoring
Stakeholder engagement commenced 2018 and is ongoing (U) Initial site inspection by Abandoned Mines Program 2018 (C) Project Plan 2024-2025 (U) Contaminated sites remediation and management works 2026 – 2027 (P) Monitoring of environmental indicators to ensure the site has met objectives for post-project landuse (P)

Initial site risk assessment February 2019 (C)

Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) 2019 (C)

Declaration of abandoned mine site December 2023 (C)

Rehabilitation works for shafts 2027 (P)

Revocation of declaration of abandoned mine site (P)

Preliminary project planning 2018 (C)

Contaminated Sites Auditor endorsed sample analysis and quality plan (SAQP) 2020 (C)

Contaminated Sites Remediation and management plan 2024 - 2025 (P)

Deconstruction and removal of site debris and redundant infrastructure 2028 (P)

  Phytophthora dieback assessment July 2023 (C) Tailings landform stabilisation 2026 (P)    
  Detailed site investigation February 2024 (U)      
  Heritage Survey 2025 (P)      
  Contaminated Sites Remediation Action Plan 2025 (P)      
  Engineering design of landforms 2026 (P)      
  Geotechnical remediation options for shafts and landforms 2026(P)      

Schedule: Completed (C); Underway (U); Planned (P)