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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database  August 24, 2015

Owner Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ERA)

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Location Alligator Rivers Area
Northern Territory, Australia
Background 1979 - Site construction begins
1980 - ERA is established as a public company
1981 - First uranium produced
Website www.energyres.com.au
Plant -
Coordinates* 12° 40' 59" S, 132° 55' 19" E
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur (Solid)
Plant Capacity 250 MTPD
Status Shutdown 2007 due to age
Dismantled in 2011
Year Built 1981
Technology -
Contractor -
Remarks All sulphuric acid will be imported commencing 3Q 2007
Pictures ERA 1.jpg (179654 bytes)  ERA 2.jpg (94560 bytes)  ERA 3.jpg (12666 bytes)  ERA 4.jpg (16180 bytes)  ERA 5.jpg (4072 bytes)

Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) was established in 1980 and has operated continuously since then, mining uranium ore from two deposits and producing uranium oxide at the Ranger processing facilities. The first drum of uranium oxide was produced on 13 August 1981. In 2009 ERA achieved total mine sales of 100,000 tonnes of uranium oxide from the Ranger mine, to become only the second uranium mine in the world to achieve this level of production.


Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) mines uranium ore and produces drummed uranium oxide at its Ranger mine 260 kilometres east of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory.  ERA sells its product to power utilities in Asia, Europe and North America under strict international and Australian Government safeguards.  The Company aims to secure profitable, long term contracts for uranium oxide produced from Ranger.  ERA also holds title to the Jabiluka deposit, situated 22 kilometres north of Ranger.  The Ranger Project Area and the Jabiluka lease are located on Aboriginal land. The conditions for mining at Ranger and Jabiluka are set out in agreements made with the Northern Land Council on behalf of the Mirarr Traditional Owners under the Federal Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.  Rio Tinto, a diversified resources group, owns 68.4 per cent of ERA shares.  The balance of the Company's shares are publicly held and traded on the Australian Stock Exchange.

References -
April 2, 2015 - The fate of Energy Resources Australia hangs in precarious balance with majority-owner Rio Tinto growing increasingly uncertain about the competitive economics and investment risk of a life-sustaining underground expansion at Australia's most productive uranium project, the Ranger mine.  Rio owns 68 per cent of ERA and the Australian-listed uranium miner's only operating asset is Ranger, a 30-year-old mine of occasionally extreme controversy.  Mining at Ranger's open pit stopped more than two years ago and production is currently sustained by legacy stockpiles.  The longer future of ERA swings on an underground project called Ranger 3 Deeps, which has been the subject of $200 million in pre-feasibility investment over the past two years alone and requires up to $60 million more before a final investment decision might be secured.  The ERA board recently sent a finished pre-feasibility study on Ranger 3 Deeps back to management with a request for further technical work aimed at refining and improving the project's investment case. A final version of the study is expected to be with Rio for assessment imminently.  At that point the Rio executive newly responsible for the Anglo-Australian's uranium assets, diamonds and minerals boss Alan Davies, will deliver the document with some form of recommendation to the global miner's investment committee.  The permanent members of that committee are chief executive Sam Walsh, CFO Chris Lynch and technology and investment boss, Chris Lilleyman. Given ERA's own recently-expressed view that it will need to raise new equity to finance its only growth project, then the Rio committee's view will be defining of the Northern Territory's miners' future.


July 15, 2014 - The Australian Department of the Environment has cleared Ranger uranium mine and its operator Energy Resources Australia (ERA) from last year's radioactive leak and acidic slurry at the mine.  According to the interim report released by the department, the leak that took place at the mine in December did not have any significant impact on humans or the environment.  The workers involved in clean-up operations were exposed to low radiation, which will have no consequence to human health, it added.  ERA, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, expects to reach normal production levels in the third quarter of the year and production capacity of up to 1,500t of uranium oxide by year end, reported Mining.com.  The collapse of a leach tank at the Ranger mine on 7 December last year resulted in spilling of around 1,400m³ of slurry containing ground uranium ore, water and sulphuric acid into the processing area.  Though no one was injured in the incident, a Ranger Minesite Technical Committee was formed to undertake investigations.  Production at the mine was stopped after the incident.  The environmental impacts of the incident were studied by the Office of the Supervising Scientist, which monitored both onsite and offsite sampling, analysis of surface water, groundwater, radiation and soils.  Geoscience Australia studied the impact on groundwater.  Supervising Scientist found that the leach tank failure did not have an adverse impact on human health or the nearby environment, including Kakadu National Park.  The investigators also found that workers, who cleaned the mine after the incident, were not highly exposed to radiation and did not report any health problems.  The Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy and Northern Territory WorkSafe are investigating the cause of the leach tank failure and the condition of the Ranger processing facility.  The technical committee has ordered ERA to provide an implementation plan to address issues related to groundwater monitoring reported by Geoscience.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth