Rio Tinto appointed manager of Ranger rehabilitation project

Rio Tinto will manage the Ranger rehabilitation project in the Northern Territory.
Rio Tinto will manage the Ranger rehabilitation project in the Northern Territory.

Under a new management services agreement (MSA), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) will manage the Ranger rehabilitation project in the Northern Territory on behalf of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA).

The MSA will build on ERA’s existing rehabilitation work with Rio’s technical expertise in designing, scoping and executing closure projects. Transition to Rio Tinto’s management will begin immediately and is expected to take around three months.

Under the agreement, Rio and ERA will aim to complete the Ranger rehabilitation project in the safest and most efficient way, and to a standard that will establish an environment similar to the adjacent Kakadu National Park.

Rio chief executive, Australia Kellie Parker commented on the partnership.

“With the signing of this agreement, we are pleased to be able to directly provide more closure and project delivery experience and know-how to this critical task,” she said.

“So far, ERA has made progress in key areas, including water, tailings treatment and management and pit rehabilitation.

“We are aligned with ERA in wanting to build on this work using Rio Tinto’s expertise in closure projects and our commitment to strong stakeholder relationships.”

Rio will build on the expertise and existing relationships within the ERA team to finalise required studies and execute the necessary rehabilitation activities.

Outside of the Ranger rehabilitation project, management of ERA matters, including cooperate matters, financial affairs, assets and governance will remain the responsibility of ERA.

ERA chief executive Brad Welsh says the company is looking forward to working with Rio.

“The ERA team has worked incredibly hard and made good progress rehabilitating Ranger,” he said.

“However, as the project moves into a new phase it will benefit from Rio Tinto’s global expertise in mine closure.

“We look forward to working with and supporting Rio Tinto on the safe and efficient delivery of this important project.”