The Ranger Hill uranium mine, which last week leaked 1 million litres of highly acidic uranium slurry into the Kakadu National Park, has been identified as a much bigger mess than first reported.
Melanie Impey, environmental officer for the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, told Fairfax the spill covered a 100 metre by 200 metre area and was up to 3 centimetres thick.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.
While Energy Resources Australia, the operator of the mine, remains insistent that no uranium leaked into the surrounding World Heritage-listed National Park, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation has said the mine is unreliable.
“This mine has a clear history of underperformance and non-compliance with regulations.
“There is a revolving radioactive door between territory and federal regulators and the mining company, with roles being routinely swapped, all of which reduces rigour, compromises credibility and produces complacency,” Sweeney told The SMH.
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