MINING DAILY is investigating recent reports that contaminated water has been leaking from the Ranger Uranium Mine. About 100,000 litres of contaminated water is said to be seeping from a tailings dam at the mine every day.
ABC online reports that the Office of the Supervising Scientist and ERA say the water is not seeping into Kakadu and there is no reason for concern.
The Northern Territory Government says it will speak to mining company ERA and the office of the Commonwealth Supervising Scientist about contaminated water leaking from the mine.
Environmentalists are calling for the mine’s planned expansion to be put on hold.
Today ERA formally applied for statutory approval of a heap leach facility at its Ranger operations.
ERA has lodged a referral with the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts (“DEWHA”) under the Commonwealth Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
ERA has separately lodged an application for approval with the Northern Territory Government.
If approved, the heap leach facility is expected to treat 10 million tonnes of low grade mineralised material per year, contained in stockpiles and the operating Ranger pit, to produce a total of between 15 to 20,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.
ERA’s pre-feasibility study into the heap leach facility is expected to be completed within the first half of 2009.
MINING DAILY has contacted the office of the Commonwealth Supervising Scientist and mining company ERA, the Rio Tinto subsidiary which operates the mine.
A statement is expected from both organisations later today.