Energy Resources Australia has run up the white flag on continuing to mine for uranium at Ranger beyond 2021.
A statement from ERA this afternoon revealed the Mirrar Traditional Owners and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation do not support an extension to the authority to mine at Ranger, in Kakadu National Park.
A statement from ERA said the company respected the views of the Traditional Owners, and would undertake a business review in light of their decision.
“In light of this development, ERA has commenced a process of assessing whether the company’s assets may be impaired,” the company said.
The news was welcomed by Environment Centre NT, where Nuclear Free campaigner Lauren Mellor said it was time for “the era of rehabilitation and a staged and managed exit from Kakadu to begin”.
“ERA must now accept full financial responsibility for the costly and complex task of rehabilitation, accept Rio’s funding offer and cooperate with all stakeholders in the transition to a post-mining phase of operations,” Mellor said.
In July parent company Rio Tinto acknowledged the need to make up any shortfall in the costs of rehabilitating the Ranger mine, and offered a $300 million conditional credit facility to ensure ERA would not falter in their obligations to rehabilitate the site.
The Environment Centre NT has called for the NT and Federal government to set up a post-mining transitional stakeholder task force to oversee the clean-up and ensure local community, traditional owners and other stakeholders are protected throughout the process.