Rio Tinto's uranium mining interests

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Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies, has major interests in uranium mining in Australia and in Namibia. It is the world's second largest producer of uranium. [1] In 2005, eight mining companies accounted for 78% of world uranium mine production. The three main companies are Cameco (20%), Rio Tinto (13%), and Areva (12%). Canada produces 28% and Australia 23%.[2]

The company has major shareholdings in two operating uranium mines:

Rio Tinto also a majority interests in one undeveloped uranium ore bodies. These is the Jabiluka lease in the Northern Territory held by ERA.

Rio Tinto also held the Kintyre lease in Western Australia is owned by Canning Resources Pty Ltd, which was a wholly owned by Rio Tinto. [1]However, in July 2008 the company sold its interest in the project to joint venture consortium "comprising subsidiaries of Cameco Corporation and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd for US$495 million".[3]

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) was prosecuted following a series of severe radiation safety failures at the Ranger Mine. [4] Ranger has, so far, produced over 30 million tonnes of radioactive tailings, and there have been more than 120 documented leaks, spills and licence breaches. The mine, which opened in 1981, is located in the Kakadu National Park. The incidents have got more sever and more frequent as the infrastructure has aged.[5]

RTZ is a member of the World Nuclear Association.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Rio Tinto, "Rio Tinto Submission to the Review of Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy in Australia", August 2006. (210kb Pdf)
  2. Uranium Information Centre, World Uranium Mining, July 2005.
  3. Rio Tinto, "Rio Tinto reaches agreement to sell its Kintyre Uranium Project for US$495 million", Media Release, July 10, 2008.
  4. Australian Conservation Foundation, Busted: Kakadu uranium miner pleads guilty to contamination, Press Release, Undated, 2005.
  5. Australian Conservation Foundation, ACF position on uranium mining and nuclear power, Press Release May 4, 2006.

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