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Uranium Mine Shutdown In Northern Territory...Radioactive Leakage Expected.

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04/19/2011 05:37 PM
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Uranium Mine Shutdown In Northern Territory...Radioactive Leakage Expected.
Uranium mine shutdown sparks environmental fears.
Lindsay Murdoch, Darwin
April 19, 2011

THE largest Aboriginal organisation in northern Australia has warned the Rio Tinto-controlled company Energy Resources of Australia against cutting corners on environmental protection during an emergency shutdown of its Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park.

The Northern Land Council called on ERA to guarantee that monitoring of the troubled mine would not be reduced during the emergency, caused by the threat of radioactive water spilling into an Aboriginal community and surrounding wetlands.

Kim Hill, the council's chief executive, said the ERA decision to stop mining, combined with the company's falling share price and environmental record, would cause it to look to cut costs.

"The World Heritage-listed environment which surrounds the mine mustn't suffer further as the company looks to protect the bottom line," he said.

The situation at Ranger added weight to his calls for an end to self-regulation of the Northern Territory's resources sector.

"Mining companies have consistently shown they can't be trusted to monitor themselves and the government needs to step in and end this ridiculous situation immediately.''

With three weeks to go until the end of the wet season, the Herald reported on Saturday that ERA may have to take drastic action to prevent radioactive water spilling from the mine's tailings dam if the area receives about 100 millimetres more rain.

The company would have to pump contaminated water into an open cut mine, which already has 3.6 billion litres of water sitting above its ore deposits.

Read more: [link to www.smh.com.au]

This mine should never have been built. Big money wins again.