23/07/2009 - 10:22

Mega a step closer to WA uranium mine

23/07/2009 - 10:22

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Canada's Mega Uranium has taken a step closer towards developing the state's first uranium mine with the signing of a formal agreement for a $60 million Japanese deal and guaranteeing to provide employment opportunities for indigenous Western Australians.

Mega a step closer to WA uranium mine

Canada's Mega Uranium has taken a step closer towards developing the state's first uranium mine with the signing of a formal agreement for a $60 million Japanese deal and guaranteeing to provide employment opportunities for indigenous Western Australians.

Mega today formally signed a joint venture agreement with GLH Contracting, a wholly owned and operated Indigenous company, and Tjupan Pty Ltd to provide employment and training opportunities for Aboriginals.

The deal commits Mega to contract services for civil and mining works from the Tjupan people in partnership with GLH.

All liabilities are covered by GLH.

"Mega Uranium's Lake Maitland project will create 300 jobs, provide Indigenous employment and training and build valuable regional infrastructure such as medical facilities, roads and quality worker's accommodation," the company said.

The formal signing of the deal coincides with today's formal signing ceremony of a joint venture deal over Lake Maitland between Mega and Japanese entities Japan Australia Uranium Development Co, which is a consortium of three Japanese companies, and ITOCHU Corporation

Earlier this year, Mega agreed to sell a 35 per cent stake in the project to the Japanese companies for $US49 million ($A60 million).

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said the government would use the world's best practice to regulate the state's uranium sector.

"Uranium mining has occurred in Australia for 30 years without major incident and I am confident that it will do so in WA," he said.

"The State Government will ensure that no uranium mine begins operation unless it has the highest possible safety and environmental standards in place."

Mega is vying to be the first company to start uranium mining in WA with plans to bring Lake Maitland online in 2011.

BHP Billiton has previously said it could bring its Yeelirrie uranium project online as early as 2014 while Toro Energy today flagged 2012 as its target year to bring its Wiluna project into operation.

 

 

Mega and Mr Moore's announcements are below:

 

Mega Uranium Ltd (MGA-TSX) ("Mega Uranium" or "the Company") has today formally signed a ground-breaking agreement that will guarantee contracting, employment and training opportunities for the Indigenous people of the Eastern Goldfields.

The Joint Venture Agreement between Mega, 100% owned and operated Indigenous contracting firm and Registered Training Organisation GLH Contracting and Tjupan Pty Ltd will ensure substantial local economic benefits to the local Aboriginal community from the development of the Lake Maitland uranium project, 105 km south east of Wiluna.

The agreement commits companies such as Mega Uranium that need civil and mining works to contracting services from the Tjupan people in partnership with GLH. The Tjupan will not require any up front capital for their enterprise and all liabilities are covered by GLH.

Mega Uranium Executive Vice President, Project Development Peter McNally said that this agreement would provide real employment opportunities for the people of Wiluna and the Lake Maitland areas.

"This agreement will empower the traditional land owners of the region in the long term sustainability of their communities," he said.

"By providing training and skills that are transferable within the resources sector and related industries, individuals in these communities will gain benefits that will outlive the life of individual mining projects.

"This agreement is about giving Indigenous communities a hand up - rather than just a hand out."

Mega Uranium has been involved in long-standing negotiations with the Indigenous people of the area and their Native Title Representative Body, Central Desert Native Title Services (Central Desert) over the management of Indigenous culture and heritage within the Project Area as part of the Company's Indigenous Relations Program.
GLH Contracting managing director, Neville Stewart said the agreement would increase opportunities for traditional land owners to gain contracts for the long term sustainability of their communities.

"The aim is to make indigenous Australians more self sufficient so they can rectify some of the social and medical problems they face without having to rely on the Government," Mr Stewart said.

Mega Uranium's Lake Maitland project will create 300 jobs, provide Indigenous employment and training and build valuable regional infrastructure such as medical facilities, roads and quality worker's accommodation.

This type of agreement is based on a successful Canadian model which gives indigenous people a chance to engage in enterprise opportunities that are mentored and fully supported financially and practically.

 

 

NORMAN MOORE

Western Australia's enormous potential to develop an energy-secure future took a step forward today with the official signing of a joint venture between Mega Uranium and its Japanese investors.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said Mega Uranium expected to have the State's first operational uranium mine up and running by late 2011.

"Mega Uranium has reached a US$49million agreement with Japanese Australian Uranium Resources Development Company (JAURD) and ITOCHU Minerals Energy Australia for a 35 per cent stake in its Lake Maitland project," Mr Moore said.

"This deal is a clear indication that WA's uranium sector is highly valuable and has great potential to generate jobs and enhance the State's economy.

"It is satisfying to see that in the nine months since the State Government lifted the uranium mining ban, foreign investors have recognised the enormous potential of WA's uranium resources.

"The Lake Maitland development will further develop the resources sector and is a step forward in safeguarding the environment by providing an alternative energy source to the fossil fuels used by more traditional power-generating facilities."

The Minister was pleased to see the involvement of Japanese companies in the deal.

"The large investment from these companies, one a collective of Japanese electricity providers and the other the world's second biggest uranium trading house, indicates that uranium is highly prized worldwide," he said.

"In the short time since the uranium mining ban was lifted, WA already has three uranium mines planned for the next two to three years with more to come."

Mr Moore said the State Government would use the world's best practice to regulate the State's uranium sector.

"Uranium mining has occurred in Australia for 30 years without major incident and I am confident that it will do so in WA," he said.

"The State Government will ensure that no uranium mine begins operation unless it has the highest possible safety and environmental standards in place."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options