Ranger Uranium Mine


Useful Information

Location: East of Jabiru.
Open: All year after appointment. [2009]
Fee:  
Classification:  Uranium Mine
Light: n/a
Dimension:  
Guided tours: V=10,000/a[2004]
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Ranger Uranium Mine, Arnhem Highway, Jabiru NT 0886, Australia, Tel: +61-8-8938-1270
RUM Tours (Ranger Uranium Mine Tours), Jabiru NT 0886, Tel: +61-1800089113, Fax: +61-89419577, Cell: +61-408931600. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:51:56 $

History

 
1969orebody discovered.
1980mine opened.
1981full production reached.
1995orebody completely mined out.
1997mining started at second orebody.
2012proposed end of mining.

Geology


Description

Ranger Uranium Mine is located at the northern tip of Australia, in the middle of the famous Kakadu National Park. Both the original and the current Ranger 3 orebody are mined open cast. The ore is processed in an on-site processing plant, first grounded, then leached with sulfuric acid, then removed using kerosene with amine, then stripped with ammonium sulfate solution and gaseous ammonia. The resulting ammonium diuranate is finally converted to uranium oxide (U3O8) in a furnace.

Actually the location of a uranium mine in the middle of a national park is rather strange. During the ore processing poisonous and probably radioactive substances may be released into the environment. Due to the environmental sensitivity of the site an institution called the Supervising Scientist was created. This special statutory authority continually controlls the operation and conducts environmetnal research in the surrounding region. However, the result of mining are tailings and the surrounding area is particularly unsuitable for tailings. The original pit is now being used to store the tailings. The low precipitation makes the mining additionally difficult, as the available water is not sufficient to operate the mine for several months every year. Another problem are the Aboriginal people who are the owners of Kakadu National Park. They want to end the mining to protect the land and have won important battles in court. The question is, why is there a mine anyway? The answer is simple: this is the single most important uranium mine on earth and produced most uranium of all mines for years now. Actually it is of great economic value.

Ranger Mine is listed here as a tourist site, as there is the possibility of visiting the mine. Unfortunately it is rather difficult to find out more. We could not find regular open hours or the possibility to individually visit the mine. But as far as we know 10,000 visitors visited the mine during 2004. We guess the mine is part of various guided tours through Kakdu National Park, and as far as we know it is best to book such a day trip.


See also


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