High rainfall hits Ranger uranium output

13 July 2010

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has revised its production forecast for 2010 downwards after higher than normal rainfall late in the wet season hit output. Uranium oxide production at the Ranger uranium mine for the June 2010 quarter, at 829 tonnes U3O8, was 44% down on the same period for 2009. Mine sequencing issues associated with work on a localised area of instability, coupled with an increased water level and reduced access to the bottom of the pit because of the rainfall, meant that total material mined for the quarter was down on both the first quarter of 2010 and on the previous year, according to ERA's second quarter 2010 operations review. Accordingly, ERA now says it expects 2010 uranium oxide production to be between 4300 and 4700 tonnes, rather than around the 5240 tonnes it had broadly expected. It still expects to be able to meet sales commitments in excess of 5000 tonnes for the year through inventory management, flexibility of shipments to customers and a "small volume" of secondary purchases.

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