Publish Date: 13th December 2013
The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) has welcomed the formation of a task force to investigate the recent tank collapse at Ranger uranium mine. Federal Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane and Northern Territory Mines Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe announced the investigation today noting that a representative of the Mirarr Traditional Owners of the mine site will be invited to join.
GAC Chief Executive Officer Justin O’Brien said “We welcome the Government’s proactive closure of operations at Ranger and believe that mining should remain suspended until the completion of this investigation and the subsequent implementation of all recommendations.”
The investigation has been established to:
i) identify the immediate cause of the incident;
ii) examine the integrity of broader processing operations;
iii) identify any gaps in operating procedures or maintenance practices;
iv) undertake a comprehensive examination of corporate governance arrangements; and,
v) provide recommendations to the Commonwealth Minister for Industry and the Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy.
Mr O’Brien continued: “This inquiry must be given full access to ensure the condition of infrastructure and the rigour of procedures at this aging mine are fully scrutinised. We look forward to assisting with the appointment of an independent investigator.”
“We are hopeful that this process will set a strong precedent for government listening to and including aboriginal landholders in decisions about the management of their land” Justin O’Brien concluded.