September 19, 2013

ENERGY RESOURCES Moves To End Uranium Mines Toxic Water Spills

Published on Thursday Sept 19 2013 (AEST)  

 Energy Resources has installed new equipment to overcome toxic water problems at the Ranger Uranium mine near Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.  

U3O8- ERA Moves to end Uranium Mines Toxic Water Spills

Energy Resources of Australia ( ERA ) has spent $220 million on a brine concentrator to treat contaminated water Chief executive Rob Atkinson says it is a worthwhile investment. "The brine concentrator is a critical component of ERA's future," he said. 

The successful treatment of process water is key to rehabilitating the site. "Without this, I do not believe we would have a future." The miner says clean water from the concentrator can be released into wetlands, and the toxic brine left behind will be collected and buried in the disused open-cut mining pit. ERA says the concentrator will produce around five million litres a day of clean water a day, or 1.8 billion litres a year. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation ( ACF ) says the move is long overdue. ACF spokesman Dave Sweeney says while the new equipment is a good thing, damage to the environment has already been done. "That mine has been plagued with water management and contamination problems for decades," he said. He says the equipment should help to address chronic water problems. "It will be an important part of the next phase of operations at Ranger," he said. 

"The next phase is about closure, clean-up, and a measured and comprehensive rehabilitation and exit."



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