Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has announced that half of its board members have resigned following the halting of its final feasibility study for Kakadu’s Ranger Uranium Mine development.
ERA said the company’s chairman Peter McMahon and independent non-executive directors, Dr Helen Garnett and Dr David Smith, stepped down citing uncertainty over the mine’s future.
The outgoing directors said that ERA’s announcement on 11 June to scrap plans to proceed with the final feasibility study for its Ranger 3 Deeps project prompted them to take the decision.
The directors said: "Given the differing views on the future of the Ranger 3 Deeps project, it is difficult for ERA to pursue its stated approach without the support of its major shareholder, Rio Tinto."
In addition, they noted that an extension to the Ranger Authority would allow the company to revisit the Ranger 3 Deeps project’s economics over time.
At that time, Rio Tinto agreed with ERA’s decision and said it will no more support further study or the future development of the project.
Andrea Sutton was appointed as interim chair of the board.
A report from Australian Financial Review had the company’s outgoing chairman Peter MacMahon saying the company was not looking for other investors in place of Rio Tinto.
Located 8km east of Jabiru and 260km from Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, the Ranger mine commenced operation in 1980.
The mine reached full production of uranium oxide in 1981.
Image: Ranger Uranium Mine in Kakadu National Park, east of Darwin, Australia. Photo: courtesy of Stephen Codrington.