Publish Date: 27th September 2012
In response to recent media reports on the renegotiation of the Ranger Uranium Mine agreement,
the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC), which represents the Mirarr Traditional Owners of
the Ranger mining area, confirms that talks are continuing. These talks aim to mitigate some of the
historical political and financial injustices associated with the 1978 Ranger Uranium Mine
arrangements put in place by the Australian government.
The current renegotiation – recently referred to by mining company Energy Resources of Australia
(ERA) - addresses historical matters only. It does not consider the future of mining beyond the
existing Ranger authorisation. Mining at Ranger must cease by 2021 with rehabilitation completed
by 2026. Any mining beyond 2021 would require Federal legislation and cannot be agreed to under
present arrangements. The Mirarr remain unequivocal in their opposition to any mining operations
at the adjacent Jabiluka site.
The Mirarr await detailed information from the current Ranger 3 Deeps exploration. Mirarr insist on
the highest level of scrutiny of the potential environmental and social impact of any proposal to
mine uranium at Ranger beyond 2021.
Rio Tinto and ERA as well as the Australian government must genuinely respect and adhere to the
internationally recognised right of Indigenous people for free, prior and informed consent regarding
development on their traditional lands before any further arrangements are made for extension of
the Ranger operations into the future.
Rio Tinto and ERA have gone some way to demonstrating a collaborative approach in their current
dealings but the future of the operations remains a matter for the Australian government which has
yet to engage with the Mirarr about future authorisations.
We look forward to a positive and speedy resolution to this long-standing injustice.