ERA advances Ranger rehabilitation

Aerial views of Jabiluka and Ranger Uranium Mine. Image: ERA

Energy Resources Australia (ERA) has updated its mine closure plan for the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory with cultural guidance from the Mirrar Traditional Owners.

This comes after a stakeholder review ahead of the company’s requirements to cease activities at the site by January 2021.

ERA is scheduled to submit an application detailing the closure of pit 3 in November 2020, which requires Commonwealth Ministerial approval.

Ranger’s pit 1 rehabilitation has moved 13 million tonnes of bulk material complete the backfill of the pit ahead of revegetation.

Pit 1 seedlings planted were previously grown from seeds collected by Kakadu Native plants and sewed in 2019.

ERA chief executive Paul Arnold said the company has spent mover $642 million on rehabilitating the ranger site since 2012.

“ERA’s priority to care for country is demonstrated by our commitment to achieve best-in-class closure outcomes for the Ranger Mine,” he said.

“This has been shown through our progressive rehabilitation of Ranger and the completion of an entitlement offer earlier this year ensuring we have the funds to meet our rehabilitation obligations.

“Since 2012, ERA has spent more than $642 million on rehabilitation and water management at Ranger.

“The plan, which reflects the complexity of rehabilitating a site in this environmentally and culturally sensitive region, is comprehensive and achievable.

“It is based on long term research, expert studies, best practicable technology, cultural guidance from the Mirarr Traditional Owners and thorough stakeholder review.”

The Ranger mine closure  plan was first introduced in 2018, with the 2020 update reflecting new research and feedback.

“The plan takes into account feedback over the past year from the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, the Northern Land Council, the Supervising Scientist Branch, and Northern Territory and Commonwealth regulatory agencies. My thanks to all of these organisations for their contributions” Arnold said.

The Ranger mine  is Australia’s longest continually operating uranium mine and  has been producing uranium oxide for more than 35 years.

Final rehabilitation of the Ranger mine  is expected in January 2026.

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