15/07/2015 - 13:11

Government touts WA uranium

15/07/2015 - 13:11

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Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has again touted Western Australia’s credentials as a destination for uranium mining, this time at today’s opening of the Australian Uranium Conference in Perth.

Bill Marmion is hoping to map out the state's future export industries.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has again touted Western Australia’s credentials as a destination for uranium mining, this time at today’s opening of the Australian Uranium Conference in Perth.

It comes after a couple of positive months for the uranium oxide spot price in $A terms, mostly thanks to the depreciation of the domestic currency.

Four WA projects are undergoing or have completed environmental approvals, including Toro Energy’s Wiluna, which has been ticked off by the federal government.

Cameco’s Kintyre is state government approved, work has started on approvals for its Yeelirrie project and Vimy Resource’s Mulga Rock is undergoing review.

Mr Marmion said the industry could bring $1 billion in exports and construction projects could create 1,500 jobs.

"Queensland is moving to ban uranium mining, and the looming closure of the Northern Territory's long-running Ranger mine has just been flagged," he said.

"The Ranger announcement is certain to prompt uranium buyers to take a fresh look at potential WA suppliers.

"But the big drivers will be India and China, especially with China's push to reduce air pollution from its current reliance on coal-fired energy generation.

"China started building three reactors in 2014 and four so far in 2015, with another three commissioned last March.

"The World Nuclear Association says 26 Chinese reactors are now under construction, and that is good news for WA's uranium export potential."

China planned to triple its nuclear power generation by 2020 and then triple again by 2050, Mr Marmion said.

More than $300 million has been spent searching for the commodity since the ban on uranium exploration was lifted in 2008.

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