Fear over uranium leaks

Concerns have been raised in the Kakadu area over pollution leaks from the Ranger uranium mine.

Concerns have been raised in the Kakadu area over pollution leaks from the Ranger uranium mine.

Traditional land owners, the Mirrar people, have said that data from the Federal Government shows a creek downstream from the mine was contaminated last month.

The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) which represents the Mirrar, said the traditional owners are opposed to expansion of the Ranger mine unless operator ERA upgrades its environmental monitoring.

“Obviously we also have worries for human health. The Aboriginal people living downstream of the mine still live, forage, hunt from that creek,” GAC spokesperson Justin O’Brien said.

The miner is seeking to construct a heap leach facility on site.

ERA has previously been investigated due to seepage of contaminated water from its tailings dam into the local water table.

The miner was accused of leaking approximately 100 000 litres of contaminated water a day from it tailings dam.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said that with the amount of contaminated water leaking from the site daily it would be essentially impossible to rehabilitate the site.

However, ERA chief executive Rob Atkinson told Australian Mining at the time that the dam has seepage area that is very well defined and there is no leak whatsoever into Kakadu.

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