Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

As ERA’s Ranger Uranium mine lease to expire, town of Jabiru’s future is not clear

Kakadu National Park: Jabiru residents in limbo as governments, mining company contemplate town’s future, ABC, By Sara Everingham, 18 July 17,  If the Northern Territory’s mining town of Jabiru near Kakadu National Park is to stay afloat, decisions will need to be made soon to avoid the loss of essential services, infrastructure and people, a report commissioned by Energy Resources of Australia has warned.

ERA, which operates the Ranger Uranium mine, is planning for the expiry of its lease agreements in 2021.

The company is required to return the town of Jabiru, which is also a service hub for the national park, to its pre-development state, removing housing and critical infrastructure, including power and water services.

Jabiru, which has a population of about 1,100, was built in 1982 as a mining residential and service hub, and the majority of its residents, whether they work at the mine or not, live in the town.

Even if there’s a consensus that Jabiru should continue to exist, it’s not clear what services would remain, particularly if there’s a sharp population decline once ERA departs………

The NT and Federal Governments have been in talks with traditional owners, the Northern Land Council, and ERA about a plan for the future of the town, but have not yet reached an agreement.

Traditional owners have also been in talks with the Commonwealth about a new township lease over Jabiru.

In the absence of any final agreements, ERA was planning for the closure of the town in four years’ time…….

ERA’s lease on the Ranger Uranium Mine expires in 2021, and the rehabilitation of the Ranger Mine has to be completed by 2026.

ERA had proposed prolonging the life of the Ranger mine by developing the underground 3 Deeps project, but in 2015 that plan lost the support of traditional owners and Rio Tinto, the majority shareholder of ERA.

The Mirrar traditional owners “absolutely” want to see the town continue and have been intensely lobbying the Federal Government since 2003, said Justin O’Brien, CEO of the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.

“If you want security of tenure, if you want to avoid the bulldozers and the base case scenario that’s still the only option on the table, sadly, you negotiate very speedily the township lease that the traditional owners have put on the table, which we’ve commenced negotiating with the Australian Government,” he said.   “If the Government engages quickly in the next several months with traditional owners then yes, it’s got a great future in terms of tourism and service provision. It’s a really positiveplace.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/jabiru-residents-in-limbo-as-uranium-mining-draws-to-a-close/8718432

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July 19, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium

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