Uranium: opportunity awaits

The Queensland Resources Council has issued a Resource Report on uranium in Queensland, incorporating findings from the latest independent economic research on the sector’s potential contribution to economic growth and fighting climate change.

The Queensland Resources Council has issued a Resource Report on uranium in Queensland, incorporating findings from the latest independent economic research on the sector’s potential contribution to economic growth and fighting climate change.

A Deloitte Insight Economics’ report has confirmed that lifting the current state government ban on uranium mining in Queensland would deliver significant economic benefits to the state and make a positive contribution to global gas emission abatement.

“As well as underwriting a multi-billion dollar investment and jobs expansion in the north and north west of the state, it’s estimated that Queensland uranium exported for nuclear power generation could in 2030 alone avoid the annual production of some 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.

“That 120 million tonnes is equivalent to around 70% of Queensland’s 2006 greenhouse gas emissions, as reported last week in the official greenhouse inventory.

“With nuclear power expanding in 30 countries and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighting its role in combating climate change, one has to ask why Queensland has not followed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s lead in abandoning uranium mining policies conceived in the 1970s and now simply overtaken by global developments.

“What must be confounding to countries increasingly dependent on nuclear power is that uranium can be imported from South Australia and the Northern Territory, but not from Queensland,” Roche said.

“Queensland Government delegations are being asked this very question as they seek to promote trade and investment relationships with the state. And likewise international business visitors regularly seek out the QRC to help explain the Queensland position on uranium mining.”

Roche said that explorers in Queensland have given a vote of confidence to the uranium prospectivity of the state, with the latest ABS data showing that over $20 million or 11% of the state’s mineral exploration in the past six months was devoted to the search for uranium.

“Imagine what might happen to the state’s exploration sector if uranium mining was given the go-ahead.”

The Deloitte report forecasts that with a lifting of the ban on uranium mining and export in Queensland, the state could win around 2% of the global market by 2030. Over that same period, in net present value terms gross state product would rise by $2.5 billion.

Links to the QRC Resource Report and Deloittes Insight Economics reports:

· QRC Resource Report – Uranium

· Deloitte Uranium Industry Outlook – Commissioned by the Australian Uranium Association

· The Australian Uranium Association

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