Update - failed leach tank clean-up and repair
(19 December 2013)
The clean-up and repair operations at Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium are on-going after the failure of one of the leach tanks in the processing plant at the mine on 3 December 2013.
As previously announced, Rössing is leading a full investigation aimed at identifying the immediate cause of the incident, examining the integrity of broader processing operations and identifying any possible gaps in operating procedures or maintenance practices.
The exclusion zone established immediately after the incident around the proximate area of the failed leach tank remains in place to allow for recovery activities to proceed safely and in good time.
The process of decommissioning and removing the failed leach tank has started and, once completed, will enable the investigating team to examine the impact of the incident on related infrastructure in the area.
Milling operations have been temporarily suspended and all other operations will continue at reduced activity until further notice. Employees will be taking paid annual leave over this period of reduced activity. The safety of those employees remaining on site is paramount.
Rössing will continue to work with and keep stakeholders and regulators informed on progress made in our investigations and assessments.