Liberty Industrial rig parked beside Gove Refinery mine structure

Gove Refinery Closure

Gove Peninsula, NT
Rio Tinto
45 months


Liberty Industrial was engaged by Rio Tinto to assist with the decontamination, demolition and disposal works for the Gove Refinery project located in the North East Arnhem Land of remote Northern Territory. After 52 years of mining activity, our client Rio Tinto has commenced the process of decommissioning, dismantling and rehabilitating the land, all of which will be returned to the Yolngu Traditional Owners, who will decide the future of the area.


  • The site is isolated in a remote location at the north-eastern point of the Northern Territory, which poses logistical challenges for the transportation of large and heavy plants and equipment to the work sites.
  • Since the refinery’s closure in 2014, the refinery infrastructure has progressively deteriorated over time. To ensure areas can be safely accessed by the team, cleaning and removal of materials and structural integrity checks are undertaken.
  • During operations, the site utilised several hazardous substances and caustic chemicals as part of the refinery process, some of which may affect the type of demolition methods needed.
  • The Northern Australian tropical climate is subject to high rainfall, with hot and humid weather conditions during the summer wet season. The risk of heat illness, particularly for personnel undertaking outdoor work, remains present all year round. Weather conditions of heavy rain, lightning and cyclones are common in the region and can impact the project schedule if not anticipated and well-managed.
  • The Banyan tree and sacred sites around the Gove Refinery are of significant cultural importance to the Traditional Owners. The protection of this tree as well as several cultural heritage areas, is paramount to ensure they are returned to the Traditional Owners on the completion of the project.

Robust Solutions/Exceptional Outcomes

Robust solutions

  • Through close collaboration with Rio Tinto during the early works phase, we outlined clear demolition methodologies of high-risk structures and comprehensive management plans, including health and safety compliance.
  • Methodologies, such as 3D modelling and simulation and mechanical demolition, are being used to predict and de-risk the project process while we ensure a safe workspace as we remove our personnel from the line of fire during our decommissioning works.
  • Our extensive plant and equipment will be deployed on-site, including Liberty Industrial’s custom-built 200t excavators with ultra-high reach functionalities.
  • The construction and commissioning of two water treatment plants capable of treating and recycling contaminated wastewater.
  • Our team has been engaging with local subcontractors and Traditional Owners, where we provide mutually beneficial initiatives and work opportunities through demolition traineeships.


Exceptional outcomes

Liberty Industrial’s primary focus is to have our highly competent project team complete the decommissioning of the Gove Refinery Closure Project within the scheduled project timeframe, assigned budget and with zero safety incidents.

Value Add


Demolition Simulation and Modelling

With exclusive license to demonstrate using Extreme Loading® for Structures (ELS) software developed by Applied Sciences International (ASI).



Use of best approach demolition and dismantling such as explosive using world class fleet, safety and engineering methodologies in explosives and rigging.


Decontamination and Industrial Cleaning

Designing engineered solutions for decontamination such as removal of asbestos, heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins, PFAS and NORMs.


Asset and Resource Recovery

Comprehensive waste and recycling management to contribute to the circular economy to extend the lifecycle of materials.


Ground and Waste Water Treatment

Treatment of a wide range of contaminants and complex water treatment and soil vapour extraction.


Site Remediation

Site rehabilitation via methods such as bioremediation, containment, decontamination, dewatering, stabilisation, treatment and tracking to disposal of contaminants.


integrated capability responsible decommissioning

decommissioning closure and asset liability consulting

consulting risk management engineered solutions 3d simulation

and simulation liberty modelling dismantling and asset

dismantling and asset recovery synchronised safety

deconstruction resource recovery and recycling expert delivery

high expert industrial delivery reach consulting

expert delivery high reach explosive induced collapse

collapse specialised contracting decontamination

decontamination cleaning remediation environmental stewards

stewards risk mitigation and management waste disposal

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