Mirarr welcome ERA-Rio Tinto credit agreement for Kakadu clean-up
29 Apr 2016
The Mirarr Traditional Owners of the Ranger Project Area at Kakadu National Park have welcomed uranium miner ERA’s announcement that it has entered into a conditional credit agreement of up to $100M from majority shareholder Rio Tinto. The announcement is a vital step towards the rehabilitation of the Ranger mine and the incorporation of the area into Kakadu National Park.
Senior Mirarr traditional owner Yvonne Margarula welcomed the news. “I am happy that ERA has listened to us. It has taken a long time and we have had to argue a lot, but they are doing the right thing now,” Ms Margarula said.
CEO of Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Justin O’Brien, said: “This is heartening news, to see that ERA and Rio Tinto have seriously engaged with our concerns over rehabilitation funding. It’s important to note that this credit facility may be terminated by ERA. We strongly encourage ERA to maintain this credit facility to ensure sufficient financial reserves to fully rehabilitate the Ranger site.”
Chairwoman of Gundjeihmi Corporation and Yvonne’s younger sister, Annie Ngalmirama said: “We want to see ERA do a complete job and clean up the Ranger mine so it can be put into Kakadu National Park. We have been wanting this all for many years.”
Mr O’Brien added that timing is of the essence. “Timing is vital here, given the proposed ending of milling in 2020 and the fact that all rehabilitation works at Ranger must be completed by January 2026. The next three to four years will be the most important for the bulk of the Ranger rehabilitation works to be properly planned and commenced,” he said.