Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) has today welcomed Environment Minister Tony Burke’s announcement that Energy Resources of Australia’s proposal to build an underground uranium mine, the so-called Ranger 3 Deeps, will be subject to a full Federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
GAC – the organisation established and run by the Mirarr Traditional Owners of the Ranger uranium mine site, where the underground operations are planned, as well as much of Kakadu National Park – called for this level of assessment. The proposal affects a number of Matters of National Environmental Significance as it is a Nuclear Action occurring within a World Heritage listed Wetland of National Significance.
Kakadu experiences high rainfall and insufficient research has been done to be to predict the effect that underground operations will have on the surrounding wetlands.
“The Mirarr welcome the Minister’s decision. The Ranger 3 Deeps proposal is an entirely new method of mining within the bounds of Kakadu National Park and must therefore be subject to a high level of scrutiny. Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has no experience with underground mining and the potential for water management or other environmental issues within the World Heritage area demand close examination,” said Justin O’Brien, Executive Officer of Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.
ERA currently has approval to mine on the Ranger Project Area until 2021 and has not publicly confirmed if it intends to seek a new mining approval beyond that date.
For further information or comment contact Justin O’Brien: 0427 008 765