The Brukunga Mine site is located 4 km north of Nairne, and 40 km east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia. Iron sulfide minerals (pyrite and pyrrhotite) were mined by open pit methods between 1955 and 1972.

  • Approximately 6.5Mt of waste rock and 4Mt of tailings was produced during operation of the Brukunga Mine
  • The oxidation of the waste material in the waste rock dumps (WRDs)
  • The tailings dam and the WRDs has resulted in acidic drainage (pH <3) as seepage and runoff, which contains elevated concentrations of sulfate and dissolved metals

This phenomenon is commonly referred to in the mining industry as acid and metaliferous drainage (AMD). AMD is widely recognised by the minerals industry as the greatest environmental legacy of mining and mineral processing.The South Australian (SA) Government took responsibility for the site commencing in 1977. A low density sludge lime-based water treatment plant (WTP) was commissioned in September 1980 to treat the acid drainage and improve water quality in Dawesley Creek.

The site has been managed by the SA Government (now Department for Energy and Mining) since 1998 after taking over from SA Water.

The SA Government agreed to a remediation program devised by PIRSA in 2001 involving:

  1. Diverting Dawesley Creek in an attempt to contain acid drainage on the Mine site
  2. Increasing the peak WTP capacity by 100%
  3. Decreasing generation of acidic seepage by relocating and blending the WRDs with limestone

More information

Brukunga Mine Site: Water monitoring report 2017 (PDF 8.5 MB)

More on water quality monitoring at Brukunga Mine Site

For inquiries relating to the Brukunga Mine Site please contact:


or address correspondence to:

Principal Project Manager Remediation Strategy
Mining Regulation Branch
GPO Box 320

Brukunga postal address
PO Box 283

Treatment Plant
Watts Rd