Energy Resources Of Australia says Rio Tinto to help with Ranger uranium rehabilitation

Mining at Ranger uranium mine ended in 2012, and processing of the remaining stockpiled ore is expected to finish in 2020. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Energy Resources Of Australia Ltd (ERA) said on Thursday its majority owner Rio Tinto had offered to help underwrite part of the cost of rehabilitating the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory.

ERA said it had total cash resources of A$425 million ($296 million) at June 30, while the rehabilitation provision was A$799 million.

Rio had indicated it was only willing to provide financial support through a renounceable entitlement offer by ERA, the uranium miner said in a statement.

Rio would subscribe for its 68.4% entitlement of new shares, but had also offered to underwrite the balance of the offer in the event that the company is unable to get alternative underwriters.

ERA said it was considering a potential renounceable entitlement offer, and was also looking at other funding sources.

The Ranger project attracted controversy because of its proximity to the Kakadu National Park. The Australian Government has documented more than 200 environmental incidents at the mine between 1979 and 2003. Source Text

ERA earlier this year flagged a higher-than-expected rehabilitation provision for the mine due to higher costs from treatment and contingency plans.

($1 = 1.4337 Australian dollars)

(By Ambar Warrick; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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