Greens protest following uranium mine approvals

Protestors marched outside of Toro Energy's offices after the government approved the miner's Wiluna uranium project.

Yesterday the West Australian government granted the final environmental approvals for Toro's uranium project, which will become the first uranium mine in the state.

The announcement was welcomed by Toro Energy's managing director Greg Hall, who said that this approval is the first since the decision in 2008 by the government to allow uranium mining.

"This represents a true achievement by many people who have worked diligently to deliver a project that will provide benefits to the local community, as well as to Western Australia, in an environmentally sustainable manner," Hall said.

Following this announcement environmentalists and trade unionist marched from Toro's offices in Perth to the WA Parliament House, yelling "Toxic Toro, you've got to go", according to The West.

The Conservation Council of Western Australia's (CCWA) spokesperson Mia Pepper said the group will fight the mine's further approvals.

She went on to say that "the Government has set the benchmark for this industry at an all time low.

"We are calling on Toro Energy to release their mine closure plan publicly and publish the estimated mine closure costs.

"If this project gets started there is no guarantee Toro will have the mine closure bonds available, there is no guarantee Toro will last as a company past 2015 or 2016, the legacy this small, dodgy mine could leave us will fall on us the tax payers we will be left with yet another contaminated site to clean and manage and safeguard, another embarrassing legacy for our children," Pepper said.

This view was supported by the WA Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA), a group made up of traditional land owners.

"We are determined to stop the poison of uranium mining in Western Australia," it stated.

The groups also attacked Toro's long term water plant.

Regarding the calls for its mine closure plan, Toro said "the mining plan we will submit to the DMP will have a detailed closure plan and they have to approve that."

It went on to dismiss statements that it had only seven years worth of water.

"It is highly saline water all around that area,” he told AAP.

"As we expand, we intend to identify more water.

"That’s not unusual."

The project consists of two uranium deposits near Wiluna, and is the most advanced in the state.

It will process 1.3 million tonnes of ore annually, and produce around 820 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate.

Under Toro’s plans uranium oxide will be transported from Wiluna through the outskirts of Kalgoorlie and over the border into South Australia.

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