'Call to close Ranger uranium mine'

April 9, 2011

One hundred and thirty people packed out a room in the Crowne Plaza hotel to hear traditional owners and nuclear experts call for the closure of the Ranger uranium mine in the world heritage-listed Kakadu national park.

Yvonne Margarula condemned the mine for its presence on land that is sacred to her people — the Mirrar people. “The promises never last,” she said. “But the problems always do.”

Justin O’Brien from the Gundjhemi Corporation that represents the Mirrar people told the audience that the lands covered by Ranger include archaeological sites that prove the residence of Australian Aboriginal people going back at least 60,000 years.

Geoff Kyle, a former chemist at the mine, said the ecological damage caused by the mine was “every bit as ugly” as the cultural destruction. He said the mine had destroyed much surface water in the national park and that mining company Energy Resources of Australia was unable to deal with water contamination at the site.

Monash University engineering academic Dr Gavin Mudd said that Ranger was one of the most heavily monitored uranium mines in the world, but this was still insufficient to deal with the problems.

The Ranger mine has been closed for several weeks because the extreme wet season has threatened to overflow a dam site used to hold radioactive tailings.

Environmentalists plan to protest at the annual general meeting of Energy Resources Australia at the Darwin SkyHotel Casino on April 13 at 8am.


Here is another report on the Ranger mine in SMH 16/04. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/radioactive-threat-looms-in-kakadu-20110415-1dhvw.html I find it disgusting that the ranger mine has been allowed to continue just for the sake of profit making when not only traditional land owners have been mocked condescendingly but the environment and basic safety for all has been disregarded. Eighteen years ago I took part in a protest against opening further Uranium mines in this area. Chief profit makers ensured the safety regarding treatment of tailings and now we are seeing the result. Such nuclear contamination, as is happening in Japan, are symptoms of the tipping point of what nature can handle. Soon humanity is gonna cop the bill! Thus we will learn... PR

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