Plans to close the Ranger uranium mine

The Ranger mine. Picture: Energy Resources Australia.
The Ranger mine. Picture: Energy Resources Australia.

Energy Resources of Australia today released its plan to close its Ranger mine.

Rio Tinto’s ERA is required to cease mining and processing activities in the Ranger Project Area by January 2021, with final rehabilitation to be completed by January 2026.

The Ranger mine is eight kilometres east of Jabiru.

ERA chief executive Paul Arnold said the comprehensive plan demonstrated that ERA was fully committed to meeting its mine rehabilitation obligations.

“The plan details the rehabilitation processes and outcomes required for ERA to meet our environmental obligations. The Plan, which will be subject to ongoing review and refinement, is based on extensive scientific research and world class engineering design,” Mr Arnold said.

The plan builds on more than 20 years of scientific work undertaken on world-class progressive rehabilitation at Ranger, with more than $452 million spent on water and rehabilitation activities since 2012.

Energy Resources of Australia Ltd  is one of the nation’s largest uranium producers and Australia’s longest continually operating uranium mine.

Uranium has been mined at Ranger for more than three decades, producing in excess of 125,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.

The Northern Land Council and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation welcomed today’s public release of the closure plan.

They said the plan was decades overdue and critical to the company meeting the objectives of rehabilitation.

The NLC and GAC, representing the Mirarr Traditional Aboriginal Owners of the mine site, will now review the plan and engage with stakeholders as part of the approval process.

“The future of Aboriginal communities downstream of the mine and the World Heritage listed values of Australia’s largest national park are at stake,” they said.

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