FIRST URANIUM PROJECT APPROVAL FROM ABBOTT GOVERNMENT

The Minerals Council of Australia has welcomed the recent decision by the Commonwealth Environment Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, to provide federal environmental approval for the Kintyre uranium project, a joint venture between Cameco and Mitsubishi Development.

This is now the first major federal environmental approval of a uranium project for the Abbott Government. It follows a detailed and rigorous approvals process.

This decision follows on from the four projects approved during the previous Labor Government of 2007-2013.  It confirms bilateral support at the federal level for the responsible development of Australia’s uranium industry.  This decision shows that Australia’s uranium projects are able to meet the highest environmental standards.

The Australian uranium industry operates to world’s best practice and to standards compatible with the country’s environmental and safety values.  Today’s approval is recognition of this good performance.

Currently, Australia’s uranium industry generates around $620 million per year – just based on capturing 11% of the global uranium market.

However, the potential for further growth is substantial as Australia possesses 32% of the world’s uranium resources.  If realised, uranium exports would be closer to $2 billion per year.

Minister Hunt’s approval of the Kintyre project follows the state approval announced by WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob in early March.  WA now has four uranium projects in the advanced stages of development.

The Kintyre project has undergone intensive environmental assessment and approval process at both the Western Australian state level and the federal level, under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

It is the second uranium project in Western Australia to receive state and federal environmental approvals since the lifting of the ban on uranium mining in WA in 2008 that has resulted in more than $300 million in uranium exploration investment

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