Rio Tinto Zinc

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In 1962 the (British) Rio Tinto Company acquired a majority stake in Consolidated Zinc, an Australian company, and was renamed the Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation (RTZ). The Australian company was renamed Conzinc Riotinto of Australia (CRA) but retained a separate corporate identity, with an increasing proportion of its shares being held by the Australian public. Today the Company is called Rio Tinto.

In 2005, eight mining companies accounted for 78% of world uranium mine production. The three main companies are Cameco (20%), Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) (13%), and Areva (12%). Canada produces 28% and Australia 23%.[1]

RTZ [2] are majority owners of Energy Resources of Australia which operates the Ranger Uranium Mine. [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. Uranium Information Centre, World Uranium Mining, July, 2005.
  2. RTZ website
  3. Energy Resources of Australia website
  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, 4 May, 2006.