The Australian Greens today welcomed the news Energy Resources Australia have abandoned plans to introduce acid heap leaching at the Ranger Uranium Mine within Kakadu National Park.
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the decision by ERA - majority owned by Rio Tinto - to ditch the plan at their board meeting yesterday was welcome news, and casts a long shadow over the viability of the controversial mine.
"The plan to build a heap leach plant on the Ranger lease was opposed by Traditional Owners, shareholders, business analysts, environmental advocates and mining experts. This is a win for good sense.
"Ranger Uranium Mine has been an ongoing debacle with water seepage and a history of accidents. The Mirarr people - Traditional Owners of the site - and the broader Australian community want Kakadu protected. Ultimately the best way to do that will be the orderly shut-down of the uranium industry," said Senator Ludlam.
Last year the Office of the Supervising Scientist told a Senate estimates hearing that contaminated water seeping from the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park had a uranium concentration about 5,400 times the normal level. The environmental regulator told the hearing that about 100,000 litres of water was seeping from the tailings dam every day.
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