Rio Tinto casts doubt over Jabiluka's future

ABC News Fri, 23 Mar 2001 15:59 AEDT

The future of the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory is in doubt after comments from the mining company Rio Tinto.

The company says it is unlikely to fund the development of the mine, surrounded by Kakadu National Park.

Rio Tinto is the major shareholder in Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), which owns Jabiluka.

Rio's chief executive told a Sydney lunch it would be hard for Rio to support the development of Jabiluka in the short-term, given the opposition to the mine, and the low price for uranium.

ERA says it is still committed to project, and is in no rush, with a decade of operations still to go at its nearby Ranger mine.

But the Greens Senator, Bob Brown, says it is the death of the controversial project.

"It's going to be very difficult for ERA to recover from this position, pour the necessary millions into proceeding with the mine or to find a buyer at a

time when the world uranium market is so bleak," he said.

  =A9 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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