WWF has welcomed the cancellation of a planned controversial underground uranium mine in Kakadu National Park.
Energy Resources of Australia, whose parent company is Rio Tinto, cancelled the Ranger 3 Deeps project in a statement to the Stock Exchange last night.
The proposed mine was in an area that had previously been excised from the Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Area.
WWF said the move was not only a victory for Australia’s environment, but also important for further economic empowerment of Indigenous communities.
WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman backed calls by the Mirarr Traditional Owners to ensuring the permanent protection of the natural and cultural values for which Kakadu is inscribed World Heritage.
“Kakadu is one of Australia’s environmental treasures and this development presents an ideal opportunity for the area to be rehabilitated and incorporated into the Kakadu World Heritage Area,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.
“Now that the mine will not go ahead, WWF looks forward to ERA and Rio Tinto accelerating the rehabilitation program, ensuring that it results in the full reinstatement of the internationally recognised outstanding natural and cultural values of this important site.
“With a World Heritage Committee meeting now less than a month away, the eyes of the world will be watching how the Australian Government and Rio Tinto manage the rehabilitation of Ranger.”
Image: Kakadu National Park (Credit: Australia.com)