The Mirarr Traditional Owners of the Ranger Uranium Mine area and the site of the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine release this statement following [the June 11 announcements] by Energy Resources of Australia and Rio Tinto that ERA will not at this time proceed with the final feasibility study of the proposed Ranger 3 Deeps underground mine.
The Mirarr and the GAC welcome the clarity that [the] announcements provide in terms of the present viability of the Ranger Three Deeps project. We are also pleased that both companies now publicly recognize the importance of adequately financing the rehabilitation of the Ranger site.
First and foremost in our minds is ensuring the permanent protection of the natural and cultural values for which Kakadu is inscribed World Heritage. We need to see a concrete and comprehensive commitment and plan for the clean-up of Kakadu; that commitment and planning needs to start today.
Mirarr have maintained ongoing dialogue with ERA and governments throughout this process and notwithstanding today’s announcement will continue to talk through all relevant issues as necessary.
However, as things stand today we will not support any extended term of mining at Ranger beyond 2021. We take this position because of our experience of 30 years of environmental and cultural impacts at Ranger and because in our talks with Rio Tinto and the Australian government we have been given no guarantee that Ranger will be the last uranium mine in Kakadu.
The Mirarr remain fundamentally opposed to Jabiluka’s development – that opposition is intergenerational. We are concerned about the lack of adequate planning for Jabiluka’s final rehabilitation and its incorporation into Kakadu National Park.
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