Traditional owners seek more benefits from mine

Traditional owners are close to finalising a new deal with ERA for an increased share of financial benefits generated by the Northern Territory's Ranger uranium mine.

The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation says the agreement will apply to existing mining operations and not to a possible future underground mine at Ranger.

Corporation spokesman Justin O'Brien says it was about time the original "unfair" deal, which was struck 34 years ago between the Mirarr people and the mine, was corrected.

"When the original deal was negotiated in 1978 it was under great duress, which led to 13 years of litigation," he said.

"The Australian government owned 60 per cent of the mine.

"The deal that was arrived at was forced upon people and it wasn't a good one.

"It has taken us about 12 years to negotiate a fair deal and, in a sense, we are playing catch-up on some very poor financial decisions." The Ranger mine is located near Jabiru, about 250 kilometres south-east of Darwin, and is within the boundaries of Kakadu National Park.

Earlier this week, ERA said it expected to record an after-tax loss of at least $135 million this year.

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