Rio Tinto and Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) have signed a new Management Services Agreement (MSA) under which Rio Tinto will manage the Ranger Rehabilitation Project.

The MSA will build on ERA’s existing rehabilitation work with Rio Tinto’s technical expertise in designing, scoping and executing closure projects. Transition to Rio Tinto management of the project will start immediately and is expected to take approximately three months.

The agreement follows an approach to Rio Tinto from ERA’s Independent Board Committee (IBC) to submit a proposal to provide services and advice to progress the project. Rio Tinto owns 86.3 per cent of ERA’s shares.

Under the MSA, Rio Tinto and ERA aim to complete the Ranger Rehabilitation Project in the safest and most efficient way and to a standard that will establish an environment similar to the adjacent Kakadu National Park and that is consistent with the wishes of the Traditional Owners of the land, the Mirarr people.

Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive, Australia, Kellie Parker, said, “With the signing of this agreement, we are pleased to be able to directly provide more closure and project delivery experience and know-how to this critical task.

“So far, ERA has made progress in key areas, including water, tailings treatment and management and pit rehabilitation.

“We are aligned with ERA in wanting to build on this work using Rio Tinto’s expertise in closure projects and our commitment to strong stakeholder relationships.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the Mirarr Traditional Owners and other stakeholders to complete the project.”

ERA’s CEO, Brad Welsh, said, “The ERA team has worked incredibly hard and made good progress rehabilitating Ranger.

“However, as the project moves into a new phase it will benefit from Rio Tinto’s global expertise in mine closure.

“We look forward to working with and supporting Rio Tinto on the safe and efficient delivery of this important project.”

Rio Tinto said it plans to build on the expertise and relationships existing within the ERA team to finalise required studies and execute the necessary rehabilitation activities.

Management of ERA matters outside the Ranger Rehabilitation Project, including corporate matters, financial affairs, assets and governance will remain the responsibility of ERA.

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