Uranium mining in NSW still on the agenda

While a ban on uranium exploration in New South Wales has been lifted, the ban of its extraction still exists – for now.

The NSW State Government has given a strong indication that it is considering overturning the existing prohibition on uranium mining, the ABC reports.

Although proposed legislation is yet to be put forward, the member for Murray-Darling, John Williams, said there is the possibility of it being lifted.
He explained that mining companies are keen to see uranium mining in NSW, as the state has already overturned the ban on exploration the lifting of the ban on extraction is the logical next step.

"They want some assurances that if they make a discovery it's not just going to sit on the shelf," Williams said.

"I don't think that's going to be the case, I think there is a commitment to progressing uranium mining in western NSW and obviously if prices are right, the market's right and there is a mining company prepared to make the investment, well it'll go ahead."

Williams said the government plans on eventually lifting the ban, but added that it not an immediate concern.
"I think that's obviously about one step at a time, get those exploration companies out there, start drilling, and start finding out what there is in regards to a resource," he said.

"If there is a proven resource and the viability of it – I think there's a lot of work to go before we get into committing the government to changing legislation to mining uranium."

In the last two years both Queensland and Western Australia overturned their long running bans of uranium mining in the state.

Toro Energy has already seen approvals for its Wiluna operations in WA, while a number of companies have been granted uranium exploration tenements in North West Queensland, with the state government under pressure to help fast track production.
 

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