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Australian Government - Supervising Scientist logo

MEDIA RELEASE

Issued 1 April 2004

Mining resumes at Ranger but mill remains closed

Last night the Supervising Scientist, Dr Arthur Johnston, provided advice to NT Government that mining operations could resume at the Ranger mine, subject to certain safety measures.

“We have reviewed the conditions under which mining and milling can recommence and support the resumption of mining activities on the same conditions as those recommended for staff returning for maintenance duties,” Dr Johnston said.

The principal issue to be addressed before staff could return to the site was whether or not the drinking water system had been adequately flushed with clean water and that the risks of being affected by the previous presence of process water in the system were extremely low.

“I am now satisfied that staff can safely return to the site to carry out maintenance duties and to work in the mine” Dr Johnston said. “However, there are still a number of issues on which I need to be satisfied before I will support the resumption of milling activities at Ranger.”

The water contamination incident arose in the Ranger mill. Before milling activities start up again the authorities need to be convinced that measures have been implemented that will ensure that the health of workers will not be put at risk in the future.

“We are continuing to work with both ERA and the Northern Territory authorities to ensure that the staff at Ranger could not be affected by an incident like this again,” Dr Johnston said.

Media contact:
Jacqui Rovis-Hermann
Telephone (08) 8920 1180
Fax (08) 8920 1199
Mobile 0407 140 070
Email jacqui.rovis-hermann@deh.gov.au