NT News: Mining on hold as team tackles spill

Publish Date:
10th December 2013

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PROCESSING operations at the Ranger uranium mine have been suspended by a government taskforce until they complete a full investigation into Saturday’s radioactive spill incident. A joint taskforce led by the
Northern Territory Government will include help from the Department of Mines and Energy, Northern Territory WorkSafe, Australian Government Department of Industry and Australian Government Supervising
Scientist Division.
The announcement came a few hours after Darwin’s CBD was livened up with a protest outside Ranger operator Energy Resources of Australia’s office yesterday.
‘‘The investigation of the incident is likely to be complex and will take some time,’’ DME chief executive Scott Perkins said.

‘‘The Northern Territory Government takes this matter very seriously and will ensure that proper investigation processes are maintained and that, where necessary, appropriate independent advice is sought.
‘‘(We know) the material involved was not a uranium concentrate. It was slurry that included ore with a concentration of approximately 0.15 per cent uranium.’’

About 25 people attended a protest in Cavenagh St that had speakers including Australian Manufacturers
Workers’ Union regional organiser Bryan Wilkins voice their concerns.
‘‘If they had kept proper maintenance at the site, this would never have happened,’’ he said.

Nuclear Free NT campaigner Lauren Mellor said to the crowd ERA and parent company Rio Tinto could not be taken at face value. ‘‘We need to see the (3Deeps) expansion program axed,’’ she said.

Along with the Government’s findings, ERA is expected to make a further announcement on operations
and damage to the Ranger site in the near future.