States see mixed response to uranium mining

The Queensland Resources Council has called on the state government to lift the ban on uranium mining while WA is seeing opposition to its uranium mining.

According to the QRC the state is missing out on millions because it has banned uranium mining, the ABC reports.

The Mount Isa City Council has pushed for the current reigning LNP Government to drop the state's long running opposition to mining uranium.

QRC chief Michael Roche stated that Campbell Newman's government has just followed in step with Anna Bligh's Labor government's opposition to uranium, and that now it's time to make its decision.

"This Government has never said that it was committed to a ban," he said.

"It was really just mulling over what they would do with the previous government's ban.

"I think we do have an opportunity to try to persuade the Newman Government that there's no need to maintain the Labor government's ban.

"We know that we are losing opportunities."

This year has seen a massive rethink in the way states approach uranium mining.

Both New South Wales and Western Australia overturned long running uranium mining bans..

"It is time for NSW to look at every opportunity to join the mining boom, which is delivering enormous profits and jobs to Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia," NSW premier Barry O'Farrell said at the time.

Mid last year Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson was also pushing for Victoria to lift its ban on uranium.

In May this year WA awarded the first environmental approval to a uranium mine in the state, Toro Energy's Wiluna mine.

However the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union has announced it will work towards reinstating the uranium ban in WA.

The AMWU's Steve McCartney told the ABC it will work hard to reverse the government's decision.

"Our main objections are we don't want our members exposed to uranium," he said.

"We believe it's unsafe. We believe that this is an industry we don't need in Western Australia."

As McCartney protested the move, anti-nuclear activists began a 200 kilometre trek from Yeelirrie to Leonora in the State's Eastern Goldfields to fight again it.

They are protesting after BHP announced it sold the Yeelirrie uranium deposit to Canadian miner Cameco.

BHP said Cameco was one of the world's largest uranium miners and was well placed to develop Yeelirrie in a "responsible manner".



Image: The WCEF

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