A ban on uranium mining has returned to Western Australia.
The state’s Labor Government, which stormed to power behind Mark McGowan in March, yesterday implemented a ban on uranium mining on all future granted mining leases.
However, Labor decided not to halt development of WA’s already approved uranium projects, including Toro Energy’s Wiluna project, Cameco’s Kintyre and Yeelirrie projects, and Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock project.
A WA Government statement said the announcement followed an election promise to block future applications to mine uranium in the state.
The action being taken is consistent with the ban that existed between 2002-2008, it added.
“This announcement supports the Labor Party’s commitment to halt the expansion of uranium mining in Western Australia,” WA mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said.
“In making this decision, the McGowan Government has carefully considered the potential liability risk for WA taxpayers.
“We made a commitment that all uranium mining projects with state ministerial approvals will be able to continue, providing they meet all planning approvals.
“The various Western Australian agencies will continue to stringently regulate the industry and ensure the four mines meet their regulatory and environmental responsibilities if they proceed.”
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Simon Bennison said the WA Government announcement provided certaintly for the four already approved uranium projects.
“The minister’s confirmation today that the approvals for Cameco’s Kintyre and Yeelirrie projects, Vimy Resources Mulga Rock project and Toro Energy’s Wiluna project will be honoured is good news,” Bennison said.
“Each new mine will bring jobs, revenue, royalties and social benefits to Western Australia.”
The former WA Government, led by the Liberal Party’s Colin Barnett, lifted the previous ban on uranium mining in 2008.