Published on Tuesday May 01 2012 (AEST)
CONSTRUCTION has begun on the $120 million exploration tunnel at the Territory's only uranium mine. Engineering firm Macmahon today started work on the 2.2km decline that stretches 400m into the earth at Ranger 3 Deeps in near Kakadu National Park.
The project goal is to accurately map the extent of a new uranium oxide deposit, thought to be one of the richest in the nation at 34,000 tonnes.
Mine owners Energy Resources of Australia are also spending $40 million on a surface drilling project over the next two years. The company has said it will not mine the new resource without the consent of the traditional owners, the Mirarr people, with whom it is negotiating a new mining agreement.
Chief Executive Rob Atkinson said the construction of the exploration decline marked the start of a challenging and exciting transition for the company.
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