Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 59 Ranger Uranium Mine and Ubirr, Kakadu NP - 6 Aug 2009

9577kms, 34 degrees C

Today was a mix of 20th century mining with rock formations and art formed thousands of years ago

Ranger Uranium Mine is a contentious issue in Australia. It generates 10% of the worlds uranium. And its placed right in the middle of sacred aboriginal land, the beautiful escarpments of Kakadu NP (check out the top LH corner of the mine picture). The even more controversial Jabiluka mine is awaiting approval by the indigenous owners – it is positioned in pristine land very close to Ubirr. The mine tour was in interesting combination of information and spin/propaganda. But well worth doing. They have huge toys – the excavators on the video have 14 cu m buckets, carrying 28T. Each bucket has the capacity of 2 and a bit concrete trucks.

Check out the size of the trucks vs the “tiny” landcruiser on the ramp. The mine is Safety crazy – the place is crawling Environmental Protection Agency officers, it is very well run.

Ubirr, could have been a bigger contrast – from the new world for a very old one. It is an incredibly spiritual place with amazing old rock art painted in galleries of overhanging rock. And the view from the top was wonderful – Crocodile Dundee country.

1 comment:

debbie.lewis19 said...

Great to catch up and see what you have done. Thanks Kilps for letter and card. Kakadu-I remember it well is a far cry from our week in Wales which was a bit wet but boys loved it. they were very excited with catching prawns and crabs in the rock pools. I will find out how i can send photos.