The Queensland Government’s decision to reintroduce the ban on uranium mining throughout the state could open immense possibilities for Western Australia’s uranium sector, said Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.
“The industry can rest assured we are working to maximise uranium opportunities in WA, as opposed to Queensland Labor’s short-sighted approach,” Mr Marmion said.
“It begs questions over where WA Labor sits on the issue. It’s certainly not backing the communities and families that will benefit from the responsible development of this industry.”
He said that more than $300 million had been invested in uranium exploration since the Liberal National Government lifted WA’s uranium mining ban in 2008.
“What is so exciting is that exports from WA’s four advanced projects could top $1 billion a year by 2020, if uranium prices recover to economic levels,” the Minister said.
“These mines could employ more than 1,500 people during construction and 500 people during operations, not to mention the indirect employment opportunities.”
WA’s four leading projects are Wiluna, Yeelirrie, Kintyre and Mulga Rock. Mr Marmion said milestones like this week’s Mulga Rock uranium ore announcement and the recent conditional approval of the Kintyre project boded well for the future.
He said that with 437 reactors operating worldwide, 70 under construction and 184 on order or planned, the state was ideally positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for nuclear fuel.
“WA investors can be confident that under the Liberal National Government, the State is positioned to reap the benefits of rapidly developing uranium markets such as India, China and the United Arab Emirates,” the Minister stressed.
“Meanwhile, this week’s Queensland Labor announcement defies logic. Not only is the mining sector facing challenges at present, but global energy demand is escalating and nuclear power is an increasingly important lower-emission power source.”