Shire of Esperance irate about uranium remarks

Koolyanobbing product is exported from the Port of Esperance.

The Shire of Esperance has lashed out at public suggestions by Cameco that they would want to use the WA port for shipping uranium.

The managing director of Cameco Australia, Brian Reilly, recently announced the company would want to explore the possibility of shipping their products through Esperance.

Shire president Malcolm Heasman said the Canadian miner had not approached the local council to discuss the prospect of exporting uranium through the Port of Esperance, before the making public statements of their intent, a move he said was “extremely discourteous”.

“We don’t have a position [on this matter] because we never discussed it,” Heasman said.

“I would think the managing director of Cameco should have come and had a word with council before he went out into the broader community before, which is not what he’s done.

“Unless we have these discussions, it’s just pie in the sky, but unfortunately what he’s done is gone out and announced to the world that he wants to send products through our port.

“He’s never come and spoken with us as a council and I don’t think that’s very courteous.

“As the president of the Shire here I know we haven’t had conversations with Cameco at all, and I think that was extremely discourteous, to be honest.”

Heasman said uranium was a very emotive commodity, and that the Shire of Esperance ran a “very clean port” which used world-best practice when handling cargo.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s uranium or nickel or any other product, to come through our port hey have to satisfy world’s best practice, and the community won’t stand for anything less,” he said.

“I don’t know if they were just trying to solicit a comment, but it would be nice if they actually came and spoke with us.”

Cameco’s Yeeleerie project, billed as the largest uranium development in WA, is located near Wiluna some distance from Port Adelaide and Darwin, the only two ports in Australia approved for shipping uranium.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.