ERA appoints Rio Tinto to manage Ranger rehabilitation

3rd April 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

ERA appoints Rio Tinto to manage Ranger rehabilitation

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has brought in major shareholder Rio Tinto’s global expertise in mine closure to manage the rehabilitation of the Ranger uranium mine, in Northern Territory.

Under a newly announced management services agreement (MSA), Rio Tinto will manage all aspects of the rehabilitation of Ranger, including project management and execution of all rehabilitation activities. Implementation of the MSA will allow Rio Tinto to build on ERA’s work to date and combine this with Rio Tinto’s technical expertise in designing, scoping, and executing closure projects.

“The Ranger Rehabilitation project is a complex and globally significant rehabilitation and after extensive consideration the IBC [independent board committee] has concluded that there would be significant value for ERA in directly leveraging Rio Tinto’s mine rehabilitation, project management experience and capabilities,” said ERA chairperson Rick Dennis.

The MSA is expected to be implemented in the second quarter of 2024, with the transition period expected to take two to three months.

All Rio Tinto services will be provided at cost once the services commence. Rio Tinto has also agreed to provide free carry on some services, including the first 12 months of Rio Tinto Management team costs and access to internal technical expertise. The MSA requires Rio Tinto and ERA to seek to mitigate risks and minimise costs in alignment with ERA's obligations.

“The ERA team has worked incredibly hard and made good progress rehabilitating Ranger. However, as the project moves into a new phase it will benefit from Rio Tinto’s global expertise in mine closure. We look forward to working with and supporting Rio Tinto on the safe and efficient delivery of this important project,” said ERA MD and CEO Brad Welsh.

ERA has been one of the nation’s largest uranium producers and operated Australia’s longest continually producing uranium mine. The mine closed in 2021.