End of ERA at Ranger mine

Image: Energy Resources of Australia

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) will halt processing activities at the Ranger mine in the Northern Territory today after four decades of operation.

The move is warranted by the commonwealth and state governments after ERA failed to receive the permission of native title holders to continue mining.

ERA has been rehabilitating the site towards its expected completion in 2026.

The company has previously faced several cost blowouts in rehabilitating the site due to expenditures associated with water treatment, revegetation and tailings transfer.

ERA, however, stated that Ranger’s rehabilitation remained a strategic priority and would deliver a “positive legacy” in accordance to its mine closure plan.

The transfer of tailings from the storage facility to pit three is continuing, along with its water treatment and pit one revegetation.

Meanwhile, ERA is closing the Ranger 3 Deeps decline due to the current uranium market environment, with the works expected to commence in the first half of this year.

ERA chief executive Paul Arnold added that the mine closure was a truly historic milestone.

“Ranger has been a major supplier to global energy markets as well as being a key contributor to the Kakadu region and the Northern Territory,” he said.

“On behalf of the board and management of ERA, it is with heartfelt gratitude that we farewell many of our dedicated operational team who have contributed both to Ranger and the broader Jabiru and Kakadu community.

“… Importantly, ERA will have an ongoing presence in the region as we continue the progressive rehabilitation of Ranger.”

ERA delivered 390 tonnes of uranium oxide in the December quarter, contributing to the 1574 tonnes produced for the full year and hitting the upper end of its production guidance.

The Ranger mine has produced more than 132,000 tonnes of uranium oxide under various ownerships.

It is eight kilometres east of Jabiru and surrounded by, but separate from, the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park.

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