24/04/2015 - 14:57

Kintyre uranium gets federal tick

24/04/2015 - 14:57

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Western Australia is another step towards developing a uranium export industry, with Canadian giant Cameco receiving federal environmental approval at its Kintyre deposit in the East Pilbara.

The Kintyre deposit.

Western Australia is another step towards developing a uranium export industry, with Canadian giant Cameco receiving federal environmental approval at its Kintyre deposit in the East Pilbara.

Approval for the project, which is owned in a joint venture with 30 per cent partner Mitsubishi Development, was granted by Environment Minister Greg Hunt today.

See also: Demand, price point key for uranium

It follows state government approval in March this year.

Cameco Australia managing director Brian Reilly said the company welcomed the news.

“We are confident the project can be safely constructed, operated and decomissioned in a way which maintains the ecological functions and environmental values in the area,” he said.

Despite the victory, it might be some time before production begins, as uranium spot prices remain stalled below US$40 per pound following a rally at the end of last year.

Four projects in WA are in advanced development stages, according to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion, including Vimy Resource’s Mulga Rock, Toro Energy’s Wiluna, and Cameco’s Yeelirrie.

“This marks another important step forward for Western Australia’s uranium industry,” Mr Marmion said.

“More than $300 million has been invested in WA uranium exploration since the Liberal-National government lifted the mining ban in 2008.

“With positive signs for a price recovery, including recent progress on an export agreement between Australia and India, these mines could be exporting $1 billion worth of uranium by 2020.

“Importantly, they will generate more than 1,500 jobs during the construction phases and 500 jobs once in production.”

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