ABC: Its up to ERA: Rio Tinto sidesteps Ranger uranium open-cut mine rehabilitation costs
16th April 2014
Mining giant Rio Tinto has distanced itself from the future rehabilitation of the Ranger uranium mine site in the Northern Territory.
Rio Tinto subsidiary Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has completed open-cut mining and wants to establish an underground mine.
But before it can do that, it needs to start work on cleaning up the site, which is located within the boundaries of Kakadu National Park, about 200 kilometres east of Darwin.
Uranium processing at the Jabiru mine site has been suspended since December after a toxic spill from a leach tank.
Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh has told the company's annual general meeting in London that rehabilitation of the mine site is ERA's responsibility.
"This is a public Australian company and clearly that is an issue for them," he said.
Question from the floor: "But not for you?"
"We are clearly shareholders, but it is a matter for all shareholders and a matter for the ERA board," Mr Walsh replied.
"There was a rights issue, and the rights issue developed the funds to cover the rehabilitation."