Toxic water problem at uranium mine not resolved

July 22, 2011

The Environment Centre Northern Territory released a new document on July 20 that detailed several disastrous events over the recent wet season at the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu national park.

The document revealed ongoing seepage from the tailings storage facility at the mine. It also said the mine was unable to effectively deal with the millions of litres of contaminated water generated.

The Environment Centre said government regulators were responding to water management problems at Ranger by allowing Energy Resources Australia, which manages the mine, to create and store even more water on site.

The centre’s nuclear free campaigner Cat Beaton said: “The ‘keep producing’ approach to the operations at Ranger will only ensure that the problem of contaminated water continues to haunt Ranger and government.

“For many years now, the Environment Centre NT has seen poor management at the Ranger site. Ranger tailings came within centimetres of capacity last wet season, this [report] ensures that this will not be forgotten.”

The centre called on the Northern Territory government to oppose proposals by Ranger to expand operations. Beaton said expansion was a desperate gamble with the safety of Kakadu and the community.

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