Australia

Ranger Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusClosing / Closed
Commodities
  • Uranium
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotRanger mine operated as a uranium mine for 40 years before closing in 2021.

In 2023, a reforecast for the Ranger Uranium mine, operated by Energy Resources of Australia, led to an increase in the closure provision of US$850 million. The increase is primarily due to closures taking longer due to overestimation of the time required to achieve pit 3 consolidation, combined with a shift to a lower-risk approach that adversely affects the achievement of the final landform and the amount of water to be treated. When operations were suspended in late 2020, recovery was expected to be completed by 2026; final completion is now expected to be pushed back to 2034, subject to approval. Most of the increase in the reserve is related to rehabilitation measures after 2027 and is subject to further study, which may result in significant changes to the reserve. These activities remain the subject of a number of studies and are also potentially sensitive to external events such as precipitation.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Rio Tinto plc 86.3 % Indirect
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Ranger Mine is owned and operated by Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ERA), Rio Tinto is a 86.3% shareholder in ERA.

Deposit type

  • Sedimentary

Summary:

The Ranger No. 1 and No. 3 orebodies contain about 124,000 tonnes U3O8 in highly chloritized metasediments of the lower Proterozoic Cahill Formation within about 500 m of the projected sub-Kombolgie Formation unconformity. In both orebodies, oxidized and reduced uranium minerals occur chiefly in quartzose schists that have highly variable amounts of muscovite, sericite, and chlorite.

Below the oxidized zone, uranium occurs chiefly as uraninite and pitchblende disseminated through thick sections of quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist and has no apparent association with graphite or sulfides. In fact, graphite is rare and sulfides are generally low in abundance (<0.5 percent). Higher ore grades occur in disrupted zones a few centimeters thick and in some quartz chlorite vein-like zones of uncertain origin. Uranium correlates strongly with chlorite, but not all of the many ages of chlorite have associated uranium. At least five textural varieties of chlorite are present and represent at least 3 ages. Preliminary microprobe analyses suggest that Mg-Fe-Al contents are relatively uniform. Apatite commonly occurs with chlorite. Uranium is not common in carbonate rocks and seems to occur only in disrupted zones that have chlorite alteration.

The structure of the orebodies is outwardly simple, particularly in No. 3; dips are less than 40° on most lithologic contacts. The No. 1 orebody is in a basin-like structure about 400 m wide that probably formed in part by progressive removal of carbonate rocks that are as much as 200 m thick adjacent to the No. 1 orebody and below the No. 3 orebody. Quartz-chlorite breccias have formed in the zone of carbonate thinning; uranium is spotty and low grade in these breccias. Chloritized and uraniferous broken and sheared zones, a few centimeters to a few meters thick, have an unknown attitude but must have small displacement. Blocks of altered Kombolgie sandstone are downfaulted into the No. 3 orebody and locally contain reduced uranium minerals. One or more shear zones 5-30 m thick.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits202020192018201720162015
All production numbers are expressed as U3O8.

Operational metrics

Metrics202020192018201720162015
Tonnes milled  ....  Subscribe2.5 Mt of ore2.5 Mt of ore2.6 Mt of ore2.7 Mt of ore2.5 Mt of ore

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units2020201920182017
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe 209.7   201.3   211.2  
After-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe 6.3   -435.3   -43.5  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 26, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 26, 2024

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required 2018
...... Subscription required 2017
...... Subscription required 2016

Aerial view:

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