Uranium mine ban for WA but existing four projects allowed to proceed – by Eliza Laschon and Courtney Bembridge (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – June 20, 2017)


The WA Government has delivered on an election commitment to ban uranium mining, but it will not stop four projects that already had approval from proceeding. A ban on uranium mining takes effect from today, with the exception of the four projects.

They are Cameco’s Kintyre and Yeelirrie projects, Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock project and Toro Energy’s Wiluna project. Toro’s Wiluna project was the first to be approved in 2012, while Mulga Rock received approval last year.

Cameco’s Yeelirrie mine was initially knocked back by the Environmental Protection Authority due to the threat it posed to microscopic stygofauna present at the site. But those concerns were dismissed by former state development minister Bill Marmion, who overruled the EPA’s decision and approved the mine in January.

It prompted anti-uranium activists to accuse the former government of rushing projects through without proper scrutiny, to ensure they would meet Labor’s election deadline.Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said he was not able to discuss the legal advice the state received but said there could have been major payouts if the state tried to stop the projects.

“Effectively we were told there may be no limit to the amount of compensation that is potentially payable,” Mr Johnston said.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-20/revised-uranium-mining-policy-wa-government/8635790