The final report on investigations by the Supervising Scientist on the impacts of a leach tank failure which resulted in a spill of slurry at Ranger uranium mine in December 2013 has been released today.
“Today’s report on the impacts from spilled slurry at Ranger mine in December last year confirms that there were no adverse impacts on human health or the environment, including Kakadu National Park, as a result of the incident,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
“The independent Supervising Scientist has made detailed investigations into all potential avenues for environmental impact and taken extensive tests of air, soil and water in both the creeks and the ground around the mine site,” Senator Birmingham said.
“No abnormal changes have been detected, which means that the Alligator Rivers Region remains protected from the potential effects from Ranger Uranium Mine.
“Indigenous communities who live in Kakadu National Park can continue to fish in these rivers and creeks and drink the water without fear of contamination.
“The final report presents all the environmental test results and confirms all the findings of an interim report which was released in July this year,” he said.
After cleaning up the spill site and repairing equipment damaged in the incident, the mine operator ERA was approved by the Minister for Industry, and the Northern Territory Government, to restart operations in early June 2014.
The approval was made on the basis of independent engineering advice that it was safe to do so subject to some conditions.
A joint Commonwealth and Northern Territory Government Taskforce with representation from the Northern Land Council and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation coordinated the various incident investigations.
The Supervising Scientist monitors the environmental performance of Ranger Uranium Mine to help ensure that the area surrounding the mine, the Alligator Rivers Region, which includes Kakadu National Park, remains protected.
The Report is available at www.environment.gov.au/resource/leach-tank-failure-report