Uranium mining advances in QLD

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(1 Vote)

The controversial decision to reignite uranium mining in Queensland is now in full swing.

The State Government-appointed Uranium Implementation Committee has been touring the Mount Isa and Gulf regions to assess how exactly uranium mining will resume – 23 years after it was banned by the state.

QLD Premier Campbell Newman, who has been criticised for doing a backflip on the issue, is keen to see the practice kick off.

He says it will bring new job and investment opportunities to the state’s north-west.

However, the Uranium Implementation Committee Chair, Paul Bell, says uranium mining in QLD is “still a little while away”.

“There’s a challenge at the moment, the price [of uranium] is very low,” he told told ABC 612 Brisbane’s Breakfast program last week.

“Any application for a mining application approval will in itself take two to three years.”

The committee is putting together recommendations for the QLD Government on the issue.

Mr Bell told ABC News the committee’s recommendations will focus on ensuring the environment, community and workers are safe during future uranium mining.

"It’s been really about us getting a collective wisdom about the people in the Mount Isa, Gulf region to really give us some confidence in what our thinking is so far and then to help us to really develop the recommendations that we would put to Government,” he said.

The committee will present a report to the State Government in March.

The idea of uranium mining in QLD has not been welcomed by everyone.

When Premier Newman announced QLD’s uranium mining ban would be lifted, the Australian Conservation Foundation pledged to fight the decision.

The foundation’s Nuclear Free campaigner Dave Sweeney told Sunshine Coast Daily it was “risky and contaminating from the first shovel to the last waste dump”, and said the horrors of radiation-ravaged Fukushima were something to keep in mind.

Queensland's known uranium deposits are believed to be worth about $10 billion, with $8 billion of that lying in north-west Queensland.

The state’s last uranium mine, Mary Kathleen, closed in 1982, before the ban was introduced in 1989.

References:


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/uranium-mining-group-to-deliver-recommendations/4498994
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/uranium-mining-boost-for-north-west-queensland-says-campbell-newman/story-e6freoof-1226555705438
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/newman-government-backs-resumption-of-uranium-mining-in-queensland/story-fndo45r1-1226500533462
http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2013/02/mining-uranium-a-little-time-away.html
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/uranium-mining-boost-for-north-west-queensland-says-campbell-newman/story-e6freoof-1226555705438
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-22/letter-shows-newman-uranium-backflip/4327902
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/acf-warns-qld-govt-it-will-fight-uranium-mining/1595303/

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