New plan in the works for Ranger rehabilitation

22nd February 2023 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – A revised mine closure plan for the Ranger uranium project, in the Northern Territory, is expected in September.

ASX-listed Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) in May last year launched a feasibility study to assess a lower technical risk rehabilitation methodology and to further refine the Ranger project area rehabilitation execution scope, risk, cost and schedule.

The feasibility study is scheduled for completion in September this year and would result in a revised mine closure plan.

ERA on Wednesday reported that at the end of December, the company’s rehabilitation provision for the Ranger project stood at A$1.22-billion. The company would require an additional A$1.06-billion to A$1.65-billion in capital to complete rehabilitation of the Ranger uranium project as an independent review of the rehabilitation estimated a cost of between A$1.6-billion and A$2.2-billion for the project, compared with the 2019 cost estimates of A$973-million. The review also pushed back the completion of rehabilitation work to between the fourth quarter of 2027 and the fourth quarter of 2028.

ERA recently re-established its Independent Board Committee (IBC) to resume discussions around funding requirements.

Meanwhile, ERA on Wednesday reported that revenue from uranium sales for the full year ending December had reached A$35.5-million, down from the A$190.3-million reported in the previous financial year, while losses after tax narrowed from A$650-million in 2021 to A$161-million.

The 2022 net loss was adversely impacted by reduced sales volumes and increases to the rehabilitation provision through higher non-cash discount unwind and an adjustment to the rehabilitation provision estimate, the miner told shareholders.

The 2021 net loss was adversely impacted by an increase to the rehabilitation provision following completion of a rehabilitation major reforecast. Favourable impacts were seen from lower operating costs as a result of the cessation of uranium oxide processing operations in January 2021 and reduced sales costs as a result of the completion of all sales of remaining uranium inventories.

During 2022, ERA incurred expenditure of A$194-million on rehabilitation activities.