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Ranger given approval to restart processing

5 June 2014

Joint release with Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy, the Hon Willem Westra van Holthe MLA.

The Australian Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, and Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy, Willem Westra van Holthe, have provided Energy Resources Australia (ERA) with approval to restart the Ranger processing plant.

This decision follows an intensive investigation of the leach tank circuit and other critical infrastructure by independent experts Noetic Risk Solution and HRL Technology, who have delivered a Restart Capability Report to the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.

The peer-reviewed report includes ten findings and three recommendations from an examination of ERA’s capability to restart its processing plant, following the leach tank failure in December 2013.

The report found that ERA had developed a staged approach to the restart and that their restart plan was appropriate and represented effective practice.

On this basis, the report recommended that ERA be given approval to commence the implementation of the company’s restart plan.

As part of the development of a second report to Government, Noetic and HRL will undertake a visit to Ranger, approximately two weeks after the restart plan has been implemented. This visit will check that restart has occurred in accordance with the plan, that the remainder of the plan is on track and that Noetic and HRL recommendations have been implemented.

This final report will provide a rigorous assessment of ERA’s approach to process safety and governance and is expected to be delivered in mid-June. This report will include a suite of further recommendations to ensure that Ranger continues not to impact on Kakadu National Park.

The ten findings and three recommendations are available at this link: http://www.industry.gov.au/resource/Mining/AustralianMineralCommodities/Uranium/Pages/FindingandRecommendationsRangerRestartCapabilityReportbyIndependentExperts.aspx

Media Contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070