Delay in licences not deterring uranium mining hopefuls

The chief of uranium explorer company Marmota Energy says a seven-month delay in the New South Wales Government’s decision to issue exploration licences is reasonable.

Marmota is one of 39 companies to have applied for a uranium exploration licence in NSW. The company already has a uranium project about 60km west of Broken Hill in South Australia.

Marmota managing director Dom Calandro says he understands the delay and hopes that it will lead to uranium mining in NSW, ABC reported.

"If the discovery side of things plays out well then I think it's an opportunity for the NSW Government to sort of have a review of what their stance is on the mining side of things and if the benefits for the state and community are quite overwhelming then I think there's a strong case for mining to go ahead," he said.

The NSW Government called for expressions of interest from miners wanting to explore the rare earth in September last year.

“We must look for every opportunity to join the resource boom under way in Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia,” said Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said in the statement.

The announcement followed the government’s controversial move to overturn the state’s 26-year ban on uranium exploration.

At a uranium conference held in Darwin this week, NSW and SA signed an agreement to encourage uranium exploration and mining along their border.

Hartcher said the agreement could make mining easier in the long run.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow but we want to lay the groundwork at a government level to actually get the cooperative agreement that everyone would expect," he said.

"I think one thing that people are sick and tired of from politicians is bickering.

"They want to see politicians whether they're Liberal, Labor or National all working together and we are."

Hartcher said the delay in issuing licences was to ensure there is fairness in the system following mining-related matters appearing at ICAC.

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