Who’s paying to clean up Ranger Uranium Mine?


If passed by the Senate, the Atomic Energy Amendment (Mine Rehabilitation and Closure) Bill 2022, will require Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) to continue rehabilitation of their  open-cut uranium mine site past 2026. 

ERA will be financially responsible for the rehabilitation of the site until it can be safely returned to the Mirrar Traditional Owners. They will need to incorporate the site back into the surrounding Kakadu National Park, and ensure the radioactive tailings remain safe for at least 10,000 years.

Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for resources Yamatji-Noongar Woman Senator Dorinda Cox:

“The Greens welcome this bill, in Australia there hasn’t been a successful rehabilitation of a uranium mine. With the expected cost to be up to $2.2 billion it’s important ERA be made to bear the cost of the clean up.

“We need to ensure the sector doesn’t end up passing on the costs of rehabilitation to the public. We are concerned there’s no binding agreement with Rio Tinto to cover the costs of the rehabilitation if ERA are unable to.

“Ranger Mine was established without free, informed and prior consent. It’s paramount that Traditional Owners are involved in all stages of the rehabilitation process. The Mirrar people should be able to determine how they will interact with the land once ERA is gone, including dietary and cultural needs. 

“The waterways that can be affected by the radioactive tailings are used by the Mirrar people for fishing, swimming and drinking.

“Not only must the Mirrar people be consulted with, they must reap the benefits of all stages of the process through involvement with procurement.

“The British government announced they will honour Australians who were involved in nuclear tests with a service medal. This is the legacy of nuclear testing and uranium mining.”