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Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has continued the rehabilitation of the Ranger project throughout the June 2023 quarter.

ERA’s wholly owned Ranger project is located eight kilometres east of Jabiru and 260 kilometres east of Darwin, Northern Territory. It operated as a uranium mine for 40 years before closing in 2021.

Since then, ERA has been committed to rehabilitating former mine assets like the Ranger project.

ERA reported that no mining, production and development expenditure was incurred for the June 2023 quarter, and material expenditure during the quarter comprised of approximately $55 million in rehabilitation expenditure for the Ranger project area.

In May, ERA completed a non-underwritten pro rata renounceable entitlement offer of new fully paid ERA ordinary shares. Through this, approximately $369 million was raised with net proceeds to fund the Ranger project’s rehabilitation through to the third quarter of the 2024 financial year.

Following the interim entitlement offer (IEO), Rio Tinto’s voting power and relevant interest remain unchanged at 86.33 per cent. The major miner pre-committed $319 million in accordance with its entitlements under the $369 million IEO.

“A portion of the proceeds from the IEO were used to repay the Rio Tinto revised credit facility of $100 million and fund costs of the interim entitlement offer of approximately $4.4 million,” ERA said.

The Ranger project’s 2022 feasibility study process continued throughout the June quarter, as well as a preliminary finding.

The preliminary finding related to the reassessment of the water model, which found that an increase in the estimated volume of water to be treated will likely have a corresponding impact on the Ranger rehabilitation completion date and revised total cost of completing the rehabilitation.

Following this, ERA commissioned an additional study to consider a range of options for an increased volume of water treatment. This additional study is expected to continue past September 2023, with the 2022 feasibility study expected to be completed in September 2023.

It will be followed by a consultation period with major stakeholders that will help construct a revised mine closure plan.