ERA progresses $830 million rehabilitation Ranger project

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Mine Rehabilitation & Closure / Mining & Resources

ERA progresses $830 million rehabilitation Ranger project


  • ERA produced 421 tonnes of uranium oxide at the Ranger mine during the March quarter
  • They have progressed the $830 million rehabilitation of the Ranger project which is expected to be fully rehabilitate the project area by January 2026
  • Download this free Guide to Mine Rehabilitation


Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) produced 421 tonnes of uranium oxide at its Ranger mine in Northern Territory during the March quarter, on par with its 426 tonnes in the December 2019 quarter.

The Rio Tinto subsidiary managed to maintain production levels during the period despite lower ore milled volumes and mill head grades.

ERA has progressed the $830 million rehabilitation of the Ranger project area as it plans to cease operations by 2021 and fully rehabilitate the project area by January 2026.

ERA chief executive Paul Arnold said the comprehensive plan demonstrated that ERA was fully committed to meeting its mine rehabilitation obligations.

“The plan details the rehabilitation processes and outcomes required for ERA to meet our environmental obligations,” he said.

“The plan, which will be subject to ongoing review and refinement, is based on extensive scientific research and world-class engineering design.”

It incorporates stakeholder feedback received through a rigorous consultation process following release of a draft plan in December 2016. Key stakeholders include the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, as representatives of the Mirarr Traditional Owners, Northern Land Council and Northern Territory and Commonwealth government agencies.

It has also been developed in accordance with Rio Tinto’s internal requirements for mine closure; in the absence of relevant Northern Territory closure plan guidelines (which are under development), it refers to Western Australia’s Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans (2015) to ensure that an appropriate planning process is in place to decommission, rehabilitate and close the site.

The objective is to close and rehabilitate the entire Ranger project area, to form one final landform across the site that will blend with the surrounding landscape. The total area of disturbance is approximately 950 hectares.

The closure activities will include:

  • Pit 1 tailings impoundment and backfill;
  • Water treatment;
  • Pit 3 tailings and brine impoundment and backfill;
  • Tailings dam deconstruction;
  • Contaminated sites remediation;
  • Processing plant and other infrastructure deconstruction; and
  • Final landform contouring and revegetation


The company is currently focused on filling Ranger Pit 3 with tailings from its tailing storage facility.

The back fill of Pit 1 is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, at which time the company will commence revegetation activities.




Originally published by Australian Mining.


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