Kakadu uranium mine set for 2021 closure

Australia’s most controversial uranium mine is one step closer to shutting down, with the traditional owners of the land opposed to extending Energy Resources of Australia’s (ERA’s) authority to mine.

ERA’s Ranger Mine operations and the undeveloped Jabiluka deposit – surrounded by the Northern Territory’s World Heritage Kakadu National Park – are on land where the Mirarr people claim ownership. Mirarr leaders have formally told the company they will not support an extension after the current agreement expires in 2021.

ERA is 68 per cent owned by mining giant Rio Tinto, which also withdrew support for the mine in a surprise decision earlier this year.

Further public meetings were held in South Australia as part of the state’s Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull left open the prospect of a ground-to-ground nuclear industry in Australia with uranium mined and processed locally. His comments came the day after he announced the appointment of a pro-nuclear energy chief scientist Alan Finkel.