The Ranger ore bodies were discovered in 1969 by Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia (EZ) and Peko-Wallsend Operations Limited (Peko).
Energy Resources of Australia was established in February 1980 and in July of the same year, floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in what was at the time the largest ever public float in Australian history.
Plant commissioning began in July 1981 and the first ore was fed into the mill in August 1981 with the first drum of uranium oxide produced on 13 August 1981. Commissioning continued through to the end of September.
The Ranger uranium mine officially began operations on 1 October 1981. Ore was drawn from Pit 1 which was open cut mine.
Mining of Pit 1 finished in December 1994. During that time 19.78 million tonnes of ore was mined.
Mining from Pit 3 commenced in July 1997 and concluded in November 2012. Since mining finished in Pit 3, ERA produced uranium oxide from stockpiled ore.
ERA and its owner, North Limited acquired by the Rio Tinto Group
In 2009, ERA announced the discovery of the Ranger 3 Deeps underground resource.
In August 2011, ERA approved $120 million for construction of an exploration decline to conduct close spaced underground exploration drilling and to explore areas adjacent to the Ranger 3 Deeps resource.
A prefeasibility study was undertaken into the Ranger 3 Deeps project and in June 2015, ERA’s board made that decision that the project should not proceed to Final Feasibility Study in the current operating environment. The Ranger 3 Deeps decline and associated infrastructure remains on care and maintenance.
Regulatory approval permitting ERA to begin the final stages of Pit 1 backfill obtained in April 2017 and work is now underway, with 3.6 million tonnes placed in 2017.
ERA releases its Ranger Mine Closure Plan detailing the rehabilitation processes and outcomes required to meet their environmental obligations by January 2026.
ERA completes its successful entitlements offer in February to secure all funding required to fulfil its comprehensive rehabilitation requirements for the Ranger Project Area by 2026.
All mining processing and operations formally ceased at Ranger on January 8. ERA pivoted its strategic focus to full time Ranger Project Area site rehabilitation.
Completion of the bulk dredging works and floor and wall cleaning activities at the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
The revegetation planting at Pit 1 was completed in January.