At the start of the year, the Ranger uranium mine operated by Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA), one of the longest continually operating uranium producers in the world, ceased processing.
The Ranger mine is located eight kilometres east of Jabiru and 260 kilometres south-east of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The mine project area is 79 square kilometres and is surrounded by, but separate from the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, which spans approximately 20,000 square kilometres.
ERA has confirmed that all mining and processing activities at Ranger concluded on 8 January 2021, in accordance with Commonwealth and NT Government legislative and regulatory requirements including the Ranger s41 Authority.
The cessation of processing marks the end of four decades of production at Ranger during which ERA has a supplier of uranium oxide to global markets. During that time, Ranger produced in excess of 132,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.
Over the years, the mine has been a major local employer, a catalyst for the establishment of the town of Jabiru and has significantly underpinned the local economy.
The comprehensive rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area remains a strategic priority for ERA. The company states that it is fully committed to delivering a positive legacy for Traditional Owners and for all Australians for the future, as detailed in its Mine Closure Plan (MCP).
On Friday, Chief Executive of ERA, Paul Arnold, said it is 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,” Mr Arnold 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.”
“We would like to thank the many generations of ERA employees who devoted their skills and expertise throughout the life of this mine,” he commented.
“Importantly, ERA will have an ongoing presence in the region as we continue the progressive rehabilitation of Ranger. I look forward to the continued support and expertise of our team as we now wholly focus on delivering on our legacy of the comprehensive rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area.”
Final rehabilitation on the Ranger Project Area is required to be completed by January 2026.