Queensland has missed out on a multi-billion dollar addition to its resources and energy industry due to bans on uranium mining, according to the Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane.
The most recent valuation estimated Queensland’s uranium deposits to be worth about $10 billion, the QRC stated.
Macfarlane said Queensland was “literally sitting on billions of dollars of value” to its local communities and economy.
In fact, uranium could be mined sustainably and economically, Macfarlane told the House of Representatives inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia.
An increase in uranium exploration or development could also lead to the discovery of new uranium deposits as well as other elements.
“The ban on uranium mining prevents us from reaping the benefit of regional jobs, investment and royalty taxes,” Macfarlane said.
“Queensland’s uranium reserves are not only a valuable export, but they also have a role to play in delivering reliable and low-emissions power.”
Macfarlane cited the BP Energy Outlook 2019 and the International Energy Agency reports, which show that nuclear energy use will grow between 2.3 per cent to seven per cent each year through to 2040.
He assured that Queensland’s uranium mines would be subject to the same high environmental standards that apply to all its other resources projects.
“Queensland can develop its uranium industry in a sustainable way,” Macfarlane said.
“It is sensible for this review to take place to look at the long-term options for uranium exports, and in the longer-term, nuclear energy generation.”