It is only a matter of time before uranium mining is allowed in Queensland, Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said yesterday at the Queensland Resources Conference in Rockhampton.
“Just as there is going to be uranium mining on an increasing basis in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, we will see uranium mining in Queensland in due course,” he said.
The Federal Government changed its long held three mines policy in 2007, but the Queensland Government has stood firm in its decision to allow uranium exploration but not mining.
According to Ferguson, uranium mining is no different to the mining of other resources for export and use in energy generation.
“It is about supplying the energy needs of other countries,” he said.
Ferguson’s words come the week after Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett approved the development of the FourMile uranium deposit in South Australia and Energy Resources Australia received approval for further exploration at its Ranger mine at Kakadu.
Ferguson believes that as many other countries move towards nuclear power Australia needs to play its role in the production and responsible export of necessary resources.
“We are energy rich, we do not need nuclear power,” he said.
“Our responsibility is to mine uranium and to guarantee that our uranium is used by countries that are only prepared to guarantee that it is used with safe hands.”