07 December 2013

Containment of tank failure

At approximately 1am on Saturday 7 December 2013, Energy Resources of Australia's Ranger Mine experienced a failure of Leach Tank 1 within the processing area.

Upon discovery of a hole in the side of the tank, personnel were removed from the nearby area before the tank split and a mixture of slurry containing mud, water, ore and acid escaped.

The capacity of the tank was approximately 1,450 cubic metres. There was no explosion.

All personnel in the localised area were safely removed before the incident occurred, and no one was injured.

A crane that had been used to assist in blocking the original hole was damaged when the tank gave way.

The slurry mixture was contained within the processing area.

As the spill was contained on site, there is no impact to the environment.

Processing operations have ceased while clean-up operations take place.

ERA General Manager Operations Tim Eckersley said there were multiple processes in place at the mine designed to contain such a spill.

"Containment systems stopped the flow, and this has meant there is no impact to the surrounding environment," Mr Eckersley said.

"ERA is focussing on clean up and recovery, and the protection of the environment and the health and safety of our people remains paramount."

ERA will continue to keep stakeholders and regulators informed.

Containment of tank failure [PDF: 302 KB]