A new $110 million uranium mine in South Australia has been given the green light by the state government.
The Four Mile mine has been given final environmental approval by South Australia’s Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
Koutsantonis said the acceptance of the mine’s program for environment protection and rehabilitation follows the granting last year of a 10-year mining lease.
The project was first given the go-ahead by former Environment Minister Peter Garrett in 2009.
The Four Mile uranium project is located 550km north of Adelaide.
The deposits discovered at Four Mile are said to be the most significant anywhere in the world over the past 25 years.
The initial resource at Four Mile is 3.9 million tonnes at 0.37% uranium oxide containing 15,000 tonnes (32 million lb) of uranium oxide.
The mine is a joint venture between Quasar Resources Ltd and Alliance Craton Explorer Ltd.
Quasar is an affiliate of Heathgate Resources, owner and operator of the adjacent Beverley uranium mine – Australia's third uranium mine.
In a statement to the ASX, Alliance Resources said the construction of the mine was subject to key steps including modification to Beverley’s existing environmental protection and rehabilitation plans to accommodate the Four Mile operations.
The company also noted that further Commonwealth approval would be required for the relevant monitoring programs and plans as required under the Commonwealth Environment Protection Act
In approving the uranium project, Koutsantonis said he was confident that uranium mining could continue in the state without incident.
"For more than a decade, Heathgate has run a first-class operation at Beverley and I am confident those practices will continue at Four Mile," Koutsantonis said.
“The new mine will create jobs in both the short and long term and contribute to the ongoing employment of Heathgate Resource’s existing 200 person workforce.”
As Australian Mining recently reported, demand for uranium is set to outstrip supply by more than 11,000 tonnes this year, creating more opportunities for investment in the Australian sector.
The South Australian Government has previously made it clear that it openly and actively supports exploration for uranium in the state.
They said they have streamlined project approval processes, improved transparency, and boosted industry and community confidence in regulatory processes.