Northern Territory and national environment groups have a clear message for Energy Resources Australia at ERA’s annual meeting in Darwin: focus on repair.
ERA is the former uranium mining company that operated the controversial Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu for 40 years, until the cessation of commercial operations in 2021.
The company, majority (86%) owned by Rio Tinto, is now responsible for delivering Australia’s costliest and most complex mine rehabilitation project.
ERA also holds the nearby Jabiluka mineral lease – the site of sustained and successful protest by the Mirarr Traditional Owners and civil society supporters from across Australia and around the world.
Despite Rio’s clear acknowledgement that any possible mining window for Jabiluka is now firmly closed, ERA continues to promote Jabiluka as an asset.
“Rio Tinto has formally accepted there is no credible business case or pathway to advance mining at Jabiluka,” said Environment Centre NT analyst Naish Gawen.
“Rio has stated it will no longer report a Mineral Resource for Jabiluka. It’s time for ERA to do the same.”
Environmentalists inside and outside the meeting will urge the ERA Board to drop the fiction of drilling at Jabiluka and address the fact of required repair at Ranger.
“Repairing the heavily impacted Ranger site is ERA’s legal responsibility,” said ACF’s nuclear policy analyst Dave Sweeney.
“ERA and Rio Tinto will be closely watched and long judged on their performance of this responsibility.”