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(last updated 15 Feb 2017)

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> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

New uranium mining projects are possible, since the new coalition government, elected on 2 March 1996, scrapped the former limitation (Three Mines Policy) immediately. (Sydney Morning Herald, March 23, 1996)

 

India's Reliance Industries joins uranium exploration projects in Australia

Recently in Perth RIL Australia, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, has paid $3.45 million in cash to Uranium Exploration Australia Ltd (UXA) to acquire 49 per cent interest in four of the latter's exploration licences in South Australia. (The Hindu May 28, 2008)

Uranium Exploration Australia Ltd has signed an agreement with India's Reliance Industries Ltd to explore for uranium in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Reliance is the largest private sector company in India. The eight tenements involved include four near the Olympic Dam mine in northern South Australia. UXA managing director Patrick Mutz said while Australia could not currently export uranium to India, Reliance were likely to be taking a broader view of the strength of the uranium sector than simply securing supply for the Indian market. (Adelaide Now Dec. 10, 2007)

WWF Australia accepts uranium mining and exports

Environment group WWF Australia has accepted the federal Government's push to expand uranium mining and exports. (Australian 4 May, 2006)

China wants to explore for uranium in Australia

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has confirmed that China has asked the Federal Government for permission to conduct uranium exploration activities in Australia. But Mr Downer says China would have to sign a nuclear safeguard agreement with Australia before it could conduct uranium mining or exploration activities. (ABC Oct. 17, 2005)

Australian Local Government Association call to stop developing uranium mines

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is calling on the Federal Government to stop the development of any more uranium mines in Australia. Almost 800 members voted for the motion at the ALGA meeting in Canberra on 1 Dec. 1999. (ABC News 2 Dec. 1999)

Senate Select Committee on Uranium Mining and Milling report released

The report of the Senate Select Committee on Uranium Mining and Milling was released on 15 May 1997. The Committee had been installed in 1996 to inquire into and report on the environmental impact, health and safety and other implications and effectiveness of security agreements in relation to the mining, milling and export of Australian uranium.
The Senate Select Committee on Uranium Mining and Milling has supported the 1977 Fox Inquiry principal findings that there should be no unreasonable impediment to developing Australia's uranium mining. It concludes that those findings have been "vindicated by two decades' experience". Chairman, Grant Chapman, said that the report "recognises the industry's achievements in being responsive to public interest. It deserves more recognition for its conscientious approach than it receives". "Australia's cautious, careful policy has resulted in mining with minimal impact on the environment. This should continue", he said.

The Office of the Supervising Scientist was commended and encouraged to develop "a broad expertise in environmental aspects of uranium mining and milling." But the report recommends establishment of a new Commonwealth Uranium Authority which would duplicate present state and federal arrangements for environmental and health supervision. This should be complemented at each mine by a consultative committee representative of local interests. Government Senators recorded their disagreement with the proposed Authority but support for the consultative committees. Senate 15/5/97
[UIC Weekly News Summary 16 May 1997]

View Select Committee Report
View Minority Report by Senator Dee Margetts and Senator Meg Lees
Select and download Committee Hearings Transcripts.

View Australian Government response to the Select Committee report (May 1998)

> Search Sydney Morning Herald


Northern Territory


> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Protests against uranium mining in Kakadu national park at mining conference in Darwin

A group of 'Kakadu clowns' have surrounded the Darwin Convention Centre this morning as the NT Mining and South East Asia offshore conference begins. The clowns - protestors from the NT Environment Centre - aim to highlight environmental risks associated with uranium mining in the Kakadu national park. (ABC Oct. 6, 2011)

Mining companies exploiting language barriers: traditional owners

Traditional owners at the centre of controversial plans to mine uranium in the Northern Territory say they feel under siege from the Central Land Council and mining companies. Harts Range woman, Mitch, who has been given permission to speak on behalf of other traditional owners, says the communities feel the mining companies are using language barriers to manipulate them. Mitch says her family does not have up-to-date information about research being done on the impact of uranium. "They're feeling under siege, not only from Central Land Council pushing them that they're going to get jobs and royalties out of it, but they're really strong on that they have no language words to translate uranium or radon gases or plutonium," she said. "They have no words to translate that back. And they're really feeling that uranium, in their language, is poison." (ABC Jul. 12, 2010)

 

Landowners call for Environmental Impact Assessments for uranium exploration

A group of landowners from Adelaide River south of Darwin are calling for changes to legislation regulating exploration and mining. Dr Michael Fonda says rural residents are concerned about the potential impact of increased exploration for uranium. He says rural communities should have the same protection from resource development as urban areas. Dr Fonda says the group is lobbying for exploration to be prevented on larger blocks, as part of the review of the Northern Territory Mining Act, and is calling for the Environmental Protection Board to consider introducing Environmental Impact Statements for exploration licences. "The EPA is at the moment having its legislation revised and we think it would be a good idea to have environmental impact statements compulsory in the process of new mining applications, which they aren't at the moment." (ABC Mar. 18, 2008)

 

China National Nuclear Corp. interested in Northern Territory uranium deposits

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has applied for registration as a foreign company in Australia. It wants to exploit the Angela and Pamela deposits, which are just outside Alice Springs and are believed to hold more than 10,000 tonnes of uranium. The NT Government will make a decision on the leases next year. According to CNNC's consultant, the company would consider developing mining operations, as well as exploration. (Northern Territory News 30 Dec. 2006)

 

Federal Government overrules Northern Territory ban on new uranium mines

The Federal Government has taken control over the future of the Northern Territory's rich uranium deposits, declaring the territory open for business on uranium.
The NT Labor Government had promised to ban new uranium mines, despite fierce opposition from the Federal Government. But the Federal Government sought legal advice, and today said it had taken over responsibility for the development of new mines, following a meeting between the federal and NT resources minister in Darwin. (AAP Aug. 4, 2005)

 

Angularli prospect, Wellington Range exploration project

Australian uranium discovery threatens ancient indigenous cave art: One of the world's biggest uranium producers has found a significant deposit in a remote tropical Australian mountain range near sandstone galleries holding some of the oldest and most spectacular rock art on the planet. After years of drilling, Canadian-based mining company Cameco has reported the find in the Wellington Range, where the thousands of Aboriginal artworks adorning cliffs and caves include a painting of the extinct dog-like creature, the thylacine, made in a style that is at least 15,000 years old.
"The importance of this art site is that it's like a library," Ronald Lamilami, a traditional Aboriginal landowner in western Arnhem Land and a custodian for the art, told The Global Mail, which on Friday (Mar. 8) published a detailed feature and map of the rock-art sites at risk nationwide. Lamilami said he fears if mining goes ahead, the works of his ancestors will be damaged.
The archaeologist Prof Paul Taçon, who has worked with Lamilami to document and date the artwork, said that dust and visitors from mining exploration could potentially damage works at the Northern Territory's Djulirri, Malarrak and Bald Rock galleries. (Guardian Mar. 8, 2013)
> See also: Rock Art Riches: The Devastating Cost of Australia's Mining Boom , by Debra Jopson, The Global Mail, March 8, 2013

Cameco finds "significant" uranium deposit in Arnhem Land: Cameco Australia has announced it has discovered a significant uranium deposit near the Cobourg Peninsula in Arnhem Land. (ABC Mar. 28, 2012)
The announcement was made on March 27, 2012, by Mark King of Cameco Australia during his presentation titled "Exploration for unconformity-style uranium deposits geology and mineralisation of the Angularli Prospect Wellington Range Project, West Arnhem Land" at the 13th Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs.

"Although the area has not been explored in the detail necessary for resource definition and modelling, intersections of 20.2 m at 5.2% U3O8 (including 0.5 m at 27.8% U3O8) not only confirms the exploration methodology, but ensures that the Angularli prospect, the Angularli trend, and parallel structures will remain a focus in Arnhem Land for Cameco through the foreseeable future." (from the abstract of Mark King's presentation)

 

Bigrlyi deposit

> View deposit info

Uranium Africa Ltd acquires Bigrlyi deposit: On Dec. 14, 2016, Paladin Energy Ltd announced that it has sold the Bigrlyi deposit to Uranium Africa Ltd.

Pre Feasibility Study for mining of Bigrlyi uranium deposit produces shaky result: On June 17, 2011, Energy Metals Ltd announced that "the recently completed Pre Feasibility Study (PFS) identifies on a conditional basis, technical viability of the Bigrlyi project". "However on a discounted cash basis the project is marginal". The study assumed a uranium price of US$ 80/lb U3O8 and an exchange rate of 0.85 US$/AU$, while current market conditions are much worse.
The project would involve the mining of Anomaly 4, 15, and 2 deposits using a combination of open pit and underground mining with acid leach processing for a mine life of approx. 8 years. Tailings would be stored in pit.
> Calculate Bigrlyi mine feasibility

China state-owned energy group CGNPC Uranium Resources hopes to acquire up to 70 per cent of Perth-based uranium explorer Energy Metals Ltd (the company which holds 53.7% of the Bigrlyi deposit). (Sydney Morning Herald Sep 8, 2009)

 

Napperby Deposit

> View deposit info

On Feb. 15, 2017, Core Exploration Ltd announced that it has secured an ELA (exploration licence application) over the Napperby uranium resource in the Northern Territory.

On May 4, 2010, Toro Energy Limited announced that it will not be proceeding to exercise its option to acquire the Napperby uranium project in the Northern Territory. Toro has determined from the results of its Scoping Study and follow-up alternative development options that the current economics of the project, based on current long term uranium prices, do not warrant taking up the Napperby purchase option under the current terms with Deep Yellow.

On Dec. 16, 2008, Toro Energy Limited announced that URS Australia Pty Ltd has been commissioned to undertake a scoping study to determine viable development options for the Napperby Uranium Project, 175 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs in the Northerrn Territory. The scoping study is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2009.

 

Nolans Bore deposit

> View deposit info

Nolans Bore deposit to be mined for rare earths only - EIS submitted: On May 23, 2016, Arafura Resources Ltd announced the submittal of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Nolans project to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority.
Arafura currently plans to extract only the rare earths contents of the deposit: "The deposit contains elevated concentrations of phosphate, uranium and thorium, averaging 11% P2O5, 190 ppm U3O8 and 2,900 ppm ThO2 respectively, although Arafura does not initially intend to commercially recover these elements. All three elements and the radioactive decay chain daughter products of uranium and thorium will report to tailings or process residues."
The public review period for the draft EIS ends on 22 July 2016.
> Download EIS: Arafura Resources Ltd · NT EPA

Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding Company has entered an equity investment agreement with Arafura Resources. Under the proposal, the Chinese investment firm will inject more than $8 million into Arafura by acquiring up to 25 per cent of its final shares on issue. Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding Company is a subsidiary of the East China Exploration and Development Bureau, a major mineral exploration, development and mining group based in the Jiangsu province of China. (Northern Territory News Feb. 25, 2009)

The draft guidelines for the Nolan's Bore environmental impact statement are open for public comment until November 17, 2008.
> View NT Govt. Nolan's Bore page

On April 8, 2008, Arafura Resources Ltd announed that it has commissioned a definitive feasibility study for its Nolans rare earth project. The project is being developed to produce co-products of 20,000 tonnes of rare earths and 150,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid. The project will also produce by-products of calcium chloride and a small amount of uranium.

 

Charley Creek Rare Earth Project

> View deposit info

Uranium recovery planned for Charley Creek Rare Earth Project: "The metallurgical treatment of the Charley Creek alluvial material incorporates two proposed main plants, a concentration plant at the mine site producing a heavy mineral concentrate of REO-bearing minerals together with ilmenite (Fe2TiO3) and zircon concentrates, and a refinery located closer to Alice Springs which treats the REO mineral concentrate to produce a mixed RE carbonate plus a small amount of uranium concentrate." (Charley Creek Rare Earth Project NI 43-101 Technical Report, December 2013)

 

Angela and Pamela deposits

> View deposit info: Angela · Pamela

The project is being opposed by the Alice Springs Angela Pamela (ASAP) Alliance , Stop Angela Pamela .
The campaign song "WIYA! Angela Pamela" (NO! Angela Pamela) is available from Super Raelene Brothers .

 

Uranium Africa Ltd acquires Angela/Pamela deposits

On Dec. 14, 2016, Paladin Energy Ltd announced that it has sold the Angela/Pamela deposits to Uranium Africa Ltd.

Paladin now sole owner of Angela/Pamela deposits

Paladin is the sole owner of the Angela project following the completion of an agreement to purchase the 50% interest previously held by Cameco Australia Pty Ltd. (Paladin Energy Ltd 29 Aug. 2013)

Uranium price keeps plans for Angela Pamela uranium mine on hold

The company responsible for the proposed Angela Pamela uranium mine in Central Australia says it still sees the site as one of its key projects. The uranium deposit 20 kilometres from Alice Springs has been earmarked for a mine but no work has been done there for two years. Earlier this year, the Northern Territory government extended mining company Paladin's exploration licence. Paladin chief executive John Borshoff says the lack of activity at the site does not mean the company has abandoned its plans. "We regard Alice Springs as a key project for ... the future," he said. Mr Borhoff says progress on the project has slowed because of the low price of uranium. (ABC Oct. 16, 2012)

Protest in Alice Springs against proposed nuclear waste dump and uranium mining

Dozens of people gathered at one of Alice Springs' busiest intersections this morning to protest against nuclear waste and uranium mining in the Northern Territory. The protesters set up a giant, inflatable waste barrel, attracting attention from passing motorists. They were objecting to the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station, as well as proposed uranium mining and exploration in the region. (ABC Aug. 21, 2012)

Groups call for stop of uranium exploration at Angela Pamela deposit

Health and environment groups in the Territory are calling on both political parties to commit to stop any mining activity at the Angela Pamela uranium deposit. A mining company currently has an exploration licence on the site, 20 kilometres south of Alice Springs, but the project has been idle since 2010.
Clive Rosewarne from the Public Health Association says whoever is elected to government should use powers under the Mineral Titles Act to force the surrender of the exploration licence. "At any stage exploration could start up there," he said. "What we really need is the minister to ask the company to surrender the licence because it's not going to go ahead, in their view, and then to protect the site." (ABC Aug. 16, 2012)

Northern Territory government withdraws support for development of Angela Pamela uranium mine

The Northern Territory government has withdrawn its support for the development of the Angela Pamela uranium mine near Alice Springs just two weeks out from a local by-election. NT chief minister Paul Henderson said the decision to oppose the mine, having previously granted an exploration licence to Cameco, was due to strong community opposition to the project. Mr Henderson acknowledged that final approval of a mining lease at Angela Pamela was the responsibility of the federal government, and that the commonwealth had the power to override any decision made by the territory government. (Sydney Morning Herald Sep. 28, 2010)

Protest in Alice Springs against proposed uranium mine at Angela and Pamela deposits

About 100 anti-nuclear protesters assembled outside the Alice Springs parliamentary sittings this morning, urging the Government not to approve a mine at the Angela and Pamela deposits. (ABC Nov. 24, 2009)

Northern Territory Government grants exploration licence for Angela and Pamela prospects

On October 3, 2008, Cameco announced that a joint venture of Cameco Australia Ltd. and Paladin Energy Ltd has been granted an exploration licence by the Northern Territory Government for the Angela and Pamela uranium prospects near Alice Springs.
The exploration licence includes a condition that Cameco obtain further regulatory authorisation under Northern Territory mining laws. Approval of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority is also required before work on the ground begins. Drilling is planned to begin on the Angela deposit in 2009 once all necessary approvals have been obtained.

Protest against opening of Cameco office in Alice Springs

Anti-nuclear protesters have presented the mining company Cameco with a symbolic eviction notice in Alice Springs this morning (Aug. 26, 2008). About 25 people from the Alice Springs Angela Pamela (ASAP) Alliance went to Cameco's shopfront to voice their protest against the proposed uranium mine, which would sit 25 kilometres south of the town. The joint venture of Paladin and the Canadian resources giant Cameco is yet to be granted the full exploration rights to the deposits. Anti-nuclear campaigner Nat Wasley says a broad section of the local community still strongly opposes the mine proposal. "It is extremely arrogant of Cameco to open an office in Alice Springs prior to being granted a licence to explore." "The community demands that this office be closed and that all staff and public relations consultants ceases operations for this and any other uranium company in the Central Australian region." (ABC Aug. 26, 2008)

Angela, Pamela mines not welcome: native title holders

Alice Springs native title holders have pleaded for help in opposing a proposed uranium mine south of Alice Springs. More than 150 people attended the meeting about the proposed exploration licence for companies Cameco and Paladin to drill the Angela and Pamela uranium deposit. Native title holder Tahnia Edwards told a public meeting at Anzac Hill High School on May 7, 2008, that Aboriginal estate groups did not want a mine on the land. Ms Edwards told the meeting traditional owners had no special powers to stop development on the site. (ABC May 8, 2008)

Rally against uranium mining development at Angela and Pamela deposits

A group of Alice Springs residents have rallied over the weekend against potential uranium mining of the south of town. In a symbolic move about 30 people shared yellow sponge cake and raised concerns about the two uranium deposits, Angela and Pamela, which have been licensed for exploration. (ABC Apr. 28, 2008)

Inquiry on exploration of Angela and Pamela uranium deposits on way

There will be an independent inquiry into the proposed exploration of the Pamela and Angela uranium deposits near Alice Springs. Territory Labor's conference at the weekend voted to support the inquiry. President Trish Crossin said the inquiry would deal with "health, environmental, cultural and potential water consumption concerns". (The Centralian Advocate Apr. 8, 2008)

NGOs concerned about potential uranium mine on Angela and Pamela deposits

The Northern Territory Environment Centre has described the land around the Angela and Pamela uranium deposits as an important ecological area that needs to be preserved. Two companies have been given exploration rights for the deposits, which are 25 kilometres south of Alice Springs and estimated to be worth $2.5 billion. But the Environment Centre's Emma Young says use of the area should be kept to low impact activities like tourism. "It was identified in the NT draft parks masterplan as a site of national biodiversity and conservation significance. It's not actually within the NT parks structure at the moment, but it was identified as being a very important ecological area that should be preserved." She says new mines could also impact the town's drinking water supply. "The deposits are located within the Alice Springs water catchment area and that'll have direct and indirect impacts on the quality and also on the amount of water that's available to Alice Springs township."
An Alice Springs based anti-nuclear lobby has also raised concens over the deposits. Natalie Wasley from the Arid Lands Environment Centre says many people in the community are opposed to the development of a uranium mine so close to the town. (ABC Feb. 21, 2008)

 

Ranger 3

> View deposit info

ERA has been granted final approval to mine the Ranger 3 orebody. Development can now begin at the orebody, which has proven and probable reserves of 56,615 t U3O8. ERA plans to commence production from Ranger 3 in 1997. [UI News Briefing 96/20]
Ranger mill capacity is to be increased 50% to handle almost 2 million tonnes of ore per year, corresponding to 5000t/yr U3O8 production from Ranger ore (stockpiled from No.1 orebody and to be mined from No.3). This will cost some $38 million and be completed in mid 1997. [UIC Weekly News Summary 28 June 1996]
> For opponents view see Ranger-3 Uranium Mining Project.

 

Jabiluka

> See extra page!

 

Koongarra

> View deposit info

Areva suing Australian government over including Koongarra uranium deposit in Kakadu National Park: French government-controlled Areva is understood to be planning legal action against the Australian government over a decision last year to veto mining at its multibillion-dollar Koongarra uranium deposit by including it in the Kakadu National Park. The claim has the potential to open up the Commonwealth to a payment of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Last March, the Senate passed a bill reversing the exclusion of Areva's Koongarra uranium deposit from the Kakadu National Park, removing the possibility of future uranium mining there. (Sydney Morning Herald Sep. 25, 2014)

Traditional Owner of Koongarra uranium deposit honored with environmental heroism award: The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says a Northern Territory man it has chosen to honour with an environmental heroism award sacrificed millions of dollars to protect his land. Jeffrey Lee this year won a long battle to stave off uranium mining companies by having his country, Koongarra, included in Kakadu National Park.
ACF spokesman Dave Sweeney says Mr Lee was under an incredible amount of pressure from all sides. "He was offered, personally, multiple millions of dollars," he said. "He stayed strong and staunch, and he stayed dedicated and persistent." (ABC June 6, 2013)

Bill introduced to reverse exclusion of Koongarra uranium deposit from Kakadu National Park: Today the federal government introduced a bill to repeal a law (the Koongarra Project Area Act) that could have led to uranium mining in Koongarra, effectively incorporating the area into the park. Koongarra is within the boundaries of Kakadu but was excluded from the park in 1979 because of its potential uranium resources. (The Australian Feb. 6, 2013)
The Senate on Thursday (March 14) passed a bill adding Koongarra to Kakadu National Park and protecting it from mining forever. (AAP Mar. 14, 2013)

Northern Land Council agrees to incorporate site of Koongarra uranium deposit into Kakadu National Park: Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory is set to be expanded, with the inclusion of land previously earmarked for uranium mining. The Northern Land Council (NLC) has agreed for a 1,200 hectare parcel of land containing rich reserves of uranium to be incorporated in to the park.
It is considered the final step in a long battle that Aboriginal traditional owner Jeffrey Lee has waged to protect his land from mining. The council and land trust will now move to enter an agreement with national parks to incorporate Koongarra into Kakadu. It is not known if Areva will attempt to take any action over the decisions. (ABC June 1, 2012)

UNESCO includes site of Koongarra uranium deposit into Kakadu National Park's World Heritage listing: After more than 30 years, the Koongarra area at the heart of Kakadu has made the world heritage list. The World Heritage Committee announced on Monday (June 27) it had decided to include Koongarra - a 1228 hectare site with important indigenous links - as part of the Kakadu World Heritage Area. Koongarra was originally excluded from the park in 1979 because of its potential uranium resources. (The Age June 27, 2011)
> Download Mirarr release June 27, 2011 (PDF)

Areva tried to prevent nomination of Koongarra uranium deposit site for inclusion into Kakadu National Park: A French government-owned company attempted to block countries discussing an Australian request to expand the World heritage-listed Kakadu National Park to include land that contains uranium worth billions of dollars. Paris-based Areva, the world's largest nuclear energy company, wants to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium from its mineral lease in the Koongarra area, which is surrounded by the park. But federal Labor made an election promise last year to incorporate Koongarra into Kakadu, removing the possibility of future uranium mining there.
Areva formally requested Australia to withdraw its nomination for heritage listing from the agenda of the 35th World Heritage Committee meeting, which will be held in Paris this week, The Age has learnt. But the government rejected the request and has sent a six-member delegation to Paris to push the nomination. (The Age June 20, 2011)

Labor government commits to protect Koongarra from uranium mining, if re-elected: A re-elected Labor government would sign a deal that would prevent uranium mining from ever taking place on a parcel of Aboriginal land that is to be incorporated into Kakadu National Park, Environment Minister Peter Garrett says. Mr Garrett visited the marginal Darwin-based seat of Solomon on Tuesday (Aug. 10), where he unveiled the Labor government's plan to expand Kakadu National Park to include a 1200-hectare parcel of land, situated to the east of Nourlangie Rock. He said the decision had been made following a request by traditional owner, Jeffrey Lee. (Sydney Morning Herald Aug. 10, 2010)
[A federal election is to be held on Aug. 21]

Traditional Owner wants land containing Koongarra uranium deposit to be added to Kakadu National Park: The world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park will be expanded to include thousands of hectares of ecologically sensitive land that contains uranium worth billions of dollars. In a generous act, the Aboriginal traditional owner, Jeffrey Lee, has offered the land to the federal government so that it can become part of Kakadu, where he works as a ranger. Mr Lee, the shy sole member of the Djok clan and senior custodian of the land known as Koongarra, could have become one of Australia's richest men if he had allowed the French energy giant Areva to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium from its mineral lease in the area. (Sydney Morning Herald May 29, 2010)

Traditional owners in the NT's Kakadu region have decided to continue a ban on mining at the $5 billion Koongarra uranium deposit. Representatives of traditional owners, the Northern Land Council, Areva and the Territory and Federal governments met in Jabiru and Cooinda this week to discuss the future of the deposit. Traditional owners decided mining should not go ahead at the site. (ABC Feb. 28, 2009)

Environmentalists have launched a campaign to have the $5 billion Koongarra uranium deposit formally incorporated into Kakadu National Park. Koongarra is just three kilometres from the sacred rock art at Nourlangie, but despite being surrounded by Kakadu National Park, the deposit is not part of the park. The French company Areva has asked to mine 14,000 tonnes of uranium at the site, only to be frustrated by its traditional owner. Jeffrey Lee wants Koongarra incorporated into Kakadu, and the Australian Conservation Foundation says it is high time that happened. "It's in a most beautiful part of Kakadu, it just shouldn't go ahead," he says. Under Commonwealth laws, the Northern Land Council must ask Mr Lee if he wants the site mined by next June. After that has happened, the Commonwealth can consider absorbing it into Kakadu. (ABC June 3, 2008)

Jeffrey Lee, sole member of the Djok clan and senior custodian of the Koongarra uranium deposit, has decided never to allow the ecologically sensitive land to be mined. He rather wants to see the land that is surrounded by the Kakadu National Park to become incorporated into the park. "There are sacred sites, there are burial sites and there are other special places out there which are my responsibility to look after," Mr Lee told The Age.
Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory), Areva must get Mr Lee's approval at a meeting called by the Northern Land Council before it can start extracting the uranium. In August 2005, the Government seized control of uranium mining from the Northern Territory, declaring the territory open for new mines. But the Howard Government has always maintained that no new mine would be approved in the territory unless it had the approval of traditional owners.
The Government has told UNESCO, the world body under which Kakadu is listed as a heritage site, that it would agree in principle for Koongarra to be incorporated into the park if the traditional owners requested it. (The Age July 14, 2007)

French mining company Areva has ruled out mining of the Koongarra deposit in the near future. Areva has been negotiating with the traditional owners through the Northern Land Council, but a spokesman at the company's Paris office says Areva has no plans to mine the site. By Australian law, every five years the company can ask the traditional owners if it can mine. So far the traditional owners have said no, and last year the moratorium was extended for another year. That has now lapsed, but a statement from Areva's head office says there are no plans to develop Koongarra in the near future because it is concentrating on new projects in Canada and Kazakhstan. (ABC May 9, 2006)

On May 27, 2005, Northern Territory Mines and Energy Minister Kon Vatskalis said he would not approve any application for a mining lease at the Koongarra site. He said the decision was based on the proximity of the deposit to the "iconic" Nourlangie Rock. The Federal Government could overrule the decision, however. (Northern Territory News, May 28, 2005)

On April 26, 2005, the day the moratorium on the development of the Koongarra uranium deposit ends, environmentalists called on the French government to abandon attempts to develop a second uranium mine in Kakadu National Park. French nuclear power company Cogema has said it will revive efforts to mine the multi-million-dollar Koongarra deposit. The environmentalists consist of the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and The Wilderness Society. (Australian Apr. 26, 2005)

Cogéma will revive efforts to mine its Koongarra deposit once a moratorium ends in April 2005. Traditional owners, through the Northern Land Council (NLC), imposed the five year moratorium on mining the deposit. The deposit contains approx. 14000 t U3O8, and it is located 250km east of Darwin in world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. (Australian Feb. 16, 2005)

The Aboriginal traditional owners of the proposed Koongarra uranium mine site in the Northern Territory have vetoed the development. The Northern Land Council says a full council meeting today resolved to refuse consent for Koongarra. (ABC News 4 April 2000)

 

> See also:
Uranium Exploration in West Arnhem Land , A Report for the Environment Centre Northern Territory and the Australian Conservation Foundation, by Gary Scott & Mark Wakeham, November 2001 (1.5MB PDF)


Queensland


> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Uranium mining in Queensland is being opposed by: Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance

General

Protesters demand independent inquiry into revival of uranium mining in Queensland

Activists have staged a colourful protest to demand an independent inquiry into the revival of uranium mining in Queensland. About two dozens protesters waved placards and chanted "no uranium across the reef" and "no yellow cake through Queensland towns" as state cabinet prepared to meet on Monday (Oct. 28). The event culminated with a man wearing a paper mache head of Premier Campbell Newman eating and smothering across his face a yellow cake baked for the event. (Sydney Morning Herald Oct. 28, 2013)

World Heritage Committee considers placing Great Barrier Reef on "in danger" list over proposals to export Queensland's uranium across it

The United Nations has expressed serious concerns with the Queensland Government's potential plans to export uranium across the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland Mines Minister Andrew Cripps says once the uranium industry becomes commercially viable, a case would have to be made to have a licensed port off the east coast, and he has not ruled out Townsville.
But the UN's world heritage committee has told the ABC it is an "added risk" to the reef, which is already under pressure from increasing development. It also says it is a "surprising activity to find in any natural world heritage site". UNESCO is currently considering if it will place the reef on the "in danger" list. It will meet in June, and says the potential export of uranium through the reef must now be considered in that response. (ABC Apr. 22, 2013)

Queensland lifts ban on uranium mining

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Queensland Premier resists calls to lift uranium ban

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson today urged Queensland to lift its mining ban. "The Australian government urges Queensland to take the next step and to also remove its ban on uranium mining, given that it already permits exploration and has an estimated resource base of at least 37,000 tonnes," Mr Ferguson said. But Mr Newman intends to keep his promise to the electorate not to mine uranium. "Our position hasn't changed, we have no plans to mine uranium," he told reporters in Brisbane. (The Brisbane Times June 13, 2012)

Protest outside Queensland parliament against push for uranium mining in the state

Protesters erected a giant “radioactive barrel” outside Queensland parliament on May 15, the opening session under the new Liberal National Party (LNP) state government. The protest, sponsored by Friends of the Earth Brisbane's Peace Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy Collective (PACE), was held to oppose a push for uranium mining in Queensland, banned under the previous Labor government. (Green Left Weekly May 17, 2012)

Union calls for Queensland to lift uranium ban

The Australian Workers' Union (AWU) on Wednesday (Feb. 16) passed a national conference resolution calling on the Queensland government to overturn its uranium mining ban. (The Sydney Morning Herald Feb. 16, 2011)

Japan joins uranium exploration project in Queensland

On Feb. 23, 2010, Bondi Mining announced that it has entered into a joint venture with the Japanese government resource entity Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to invest up to A$900,000 in exploration over Bondi's 100% owned North Maureen Project in Queensland.

Sino-Australian company joins uranium exploration projects in Queensland

On Dec. 12, 2007, Deep Yellow Ltd and Dragon Energy Ltd announced they have reached agreement for the Farm-in by Dragon Energy Ltd of a majority interest in five Deep Yellow Ltd uranium projects located in Queensland.

New Queensland Labor government outlaws uranium

Following the Labor victory at the 13 June 1998 state elections, the policy of the new Queensland government states that "Labor will not grant a mining lease for the purposes of mining uranium in Queensland. Nor will it permit the treatment or processing of uranium in the state." [UIC Weekly News Summary 17 July 1998]

 

Ben Lomond and Maureen projects

> View deposit details: Ben Lomond · Maureen

 

State issues order over release of contaminats at idle Ben Lomond uranium mine

A Queensland uranium mine has been ordered to strengthen safeguards against the release of contaminants after elevated readings of arsenic, lead and uranium. The owners of the non-operational Ben Lomond Mine, near Townsville, were issued with an Environmental Protection Order on Friday (Oct. 28). The order was issued in response to elevated levels of contaminants being measured both on and off the mining lease, Environment Minister Steven Miles said on Sunday. (AAP Oct. 30, 2016)

Environmental concerns raised over possible resumption of development of Ben Lomond uranium mine project

The Queensland Opposition has warned any resumption of uranium mining near Townsville in the state's north risked contaminating the city's water supply. The State Government recently announced plans to resume uranium mining across Queensland. The Ben Lomond uranium mine, 50 kilometres west of Townsville, closed more than 20 years ago amid serious environmental concerns.
The mine is in the Thuringowa electorate of Liberal National Party (LNP) MP Sam Cox. Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin today called on Mr Cox to become more involved in any proposals to reopen the mine. Mr Mulherin says nearby residents needed a guarantee environmental concerns do not still exist. "The concerns related to the tail dams, cyclonic rain events and the impact the heavy metals and radioactive materials," he said. Mr Mulherin says when the mine was closed there was concern radioactive tailings would reach the Burdekin River, which supplies water to the Townsville region. (ABC Nov. 6, 2012)

Development Studies of Ben Lomond mine project commenced

On Mar. 29, 2007, Mega Uranium Ltd. announced that Golder Associates Ltd has commenced a pre-feasibility study of its Ben Lomond uranium-molybdenum resource in Queensland, Australia, with a view to determining the project economics, the preferred mining and processing options and the key steps in mine development.

Anaconda terminates Ben Lomond and Maureen projects

"The agreements relating to the purchases of the Ben Lomond Project and the Maureen Project in Queensland, Australia will be terminated effective November 4, 1998 and December 3, 1998 respectively. The Company does not intend to pursue these projects further because of a number of factors relating to the poor short-term uranium market, the difficulty in raising money for junior resource companies and the political environment in Queensland. This has changed, following an election, and is now not conducive to mining uranium. Accordingly, the Ben Lomond Project has been written off for accounting purposes as of August 31, 1998. The Maureen Project was similarly written off as of May 31, 1998." (Anaconda Uranium Corp., Oct 30, 1998)

 

Milo Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) and Rare Earth Elements (REE) Project

> View deposit details

Positive Scoping Study announced for Milo multi-element mine project: On Nov. 22, 2012, GBM Resources Ltd announced a positive Scoping Study confirming a "strong commercial opportunity" at its Milo IOCG-REE Project: "The in-depth study highlighted that Milo has the potential to become a mid-tier producer of rare earth oxide products with key credits for copper, phosphate and uranium."
[The uranium concentration in the ore is just 60 ppm...]

 

Valhalla

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Paladin further writes down Queensland uranium properties: On Aug. 27, 2015, Paladin released its 2015 Annual Report announcing another US$ 229.1 million (US$ 180.8 million after tax) impairment on its Queensland exploration assets.

Paladin writes down Queensland uranium properties: On Feb. 13, 2014, Paladin announced an US$ 323.6 million (US$ 226.5 million after tax) impairment on its Valhalla and Mt Isa North properties.

On Sep. 7, 2006, Paladin Resources Ltd became a majority shareholder of Valhalla Uranium Ltd.

Recent drilling at the Valhalla uranium deposit in north-west Queensland has produced positive results. Owned jointly by Summit Resources NL and project manager Resolute , the drilling intersected U3O8 with grades exceeding 1.0% and indicated a possible increase in the length of the mineralised zone to 600 meters from the 240 meters previously assessed. (UI News Briefing 50/97)
The latest outcome from renewed exploration effort for uranium is that Summit Resources NL and Resolute Ltd have doubled the size of the Valhalla deposit, near Mount Isa. The overall resource now comprises 29,000 tonnes U3O8, including measured, indicated and inferred resources of 14 Mt of ore at 0.157% containing 22,000 tonnes U3O8. (UIC Weekly News Summary 27 March 1998)

 

Westmoreland

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Positive results announced for updated Preliminary Economic Assessment on Westmoreland uranium mine project - provided uranium price more than doubles: On Apr. 21, 2016, Laramide Resources Ltd announced positive results from the updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Westmoreland uranium project. The PEA assumes a uranium price of US$ 65 / lb U3O8. Other than the 2007 PEA, the new PEA assumes an in-pit dry stacked tailings disposal scheme.

> Calculate Mine Feasibility

Updated Scoping Study/Preliminary Economic Assessment commissioned for Westmoreland uranium mine project: On Aug. 25, 2015, Laramide Resources Ltd announced that is has retained Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd to deliver an updated Scoping Study/Preliminary Economic Assessment on its Westmoreland uranium project in northwest Queensland. The new study is expected to be published early in Q4 2015.

On Apr. 17, 2007, Laramide Resources Ltd announced the completion of the scoping study. In the study, the mine is planned as an entirely open cut operation using conventional acid leaching and solvent extraction technology in the process plant. A mining and milling rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year at an average grade of 0.10% U3O8 for average annual production of 3 million pounds of U3O8 [1154 t U] was used in the scoping study. Production costs for a pound of U3O8 average US$ 19.02 for the first 6 years of the mine life, during which time the strip ratio will be 2.3 to 1. From year 7 onwards, the average production costs of U3O8 will increase to US$ 25.17 per pound as the strip ratio increases during the mining of the smaller Junnagunna and Huarabagoo deposits. Life of the mine will be greater than 11 years.

On Nov. 24, 2006, Laramide Resources Ltd announced that they have commissioned GRD Minproc Limited to complete a Scoping Study of its Westmoreland uranium deposit located in Queensland Australia. CEO Marc Henderson stated that "The Scoping Study will allow us to evaluate the economic potential of Westmoreland and should provide a development path forward for the project when the necessary policy changes are made in Queensland to permit mining of uranium." It is anticipated that the study will be completed in the first quarter of 2007.

 


South Australia

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Western Australia

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New South Wales


> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Sole application for a uranium exploration license in New South Wales withdrawn

A decision by the NSW government to overturn a decades-old ban on uranium exploration to potentially cash in on exports to India has proved a dud after the only company to apply for a licence withdrew.
It comes after Fairfax Media revealed directors of the company, EJ Resources, were former directors of the firm Fifth Element Resources whose shares were suspended by the Australian Securities Exchange after inexplicably rocketing to 40 times their value in 2014.
The withdrawal of EJ Resources' application means no company is applying for a uranium exploration licence in NSW, four years after the law was changed in 2012. (Sydney Morning Herald May 14, 2016)

Only one of the six companies invited by the New South Wales State Government to apply for a uranium exploration license has done so

Only one of the six companies invited by the State Government to apply for a uranium exploration license has done so. The ban on mining uranium in New South Wales remains in place, but the Coalition has lifted the ban on exploration. Last year the government invited six companies to apply for licenses to explore for deposits around Broken Hill, Cobar and Dubbo. Only EJ Resources has submitted an application, seeking three licenses to explore north of Broken Hill. The other companies -- Australian Zirconia, Callabonna Resources, Hartz Rare Earths, Iluka Resources and Marmota Energy -- did not apply before the government's March deadline passed. (ABC Mar. 18, 2015)

Six companies invited to apply for right to explore for uranium in New South Wales - one of which denies any interest in uranium

Six companies have been invited to apply for the right to explore for uranium in NSW, two years after a decades-long ban was controversially overturned by the NSW government. Five of the companies - Callabonna Resources, EJ Resources, Hartz Rare Earths, Iluka Resources and Marmot Energy - want to explore around Broken Hill. Hartz Rare Earths has also applied to explore near Cobar, while Australian Zirconia wants to explore south of Dubbo.
The announcement by Energy and Resources Minister Anthony Roberts comes after 16 companies lodged expressions of interest in late 2012. The ban on uranium mining in NSW remains in place. (Sydney Morning Herald Sep. 11, 2014)
Alkane Resources has rejected suggestions it will mine uranium south of Dubbo. Subsidiary Australian Zirconia Ltd was one of six companies the NSW Government has invited to apply for a uranium exploration licence in NSW. (The Courier Sep. 12, 2014)

39 Expressions of Interest to explore for uranium submitted after ban lifted in New South Wales

On Nov. 20, 2012, the NSW Government announced the receipt of 39 Expressions of Interest to explore for uranium in NSW following the proclamation of legislation to overturn the 26 year ban on uranium exploration.
> View list of applicants (NSW Division of Resources and Energy)

New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council keen to explore uranium in coal waste dams

Aboriginal groups in NSW want rights to explore for uranium in the dams that hold waste from the state's four biggest coal-fired power stations. Expressions of interest for the first tranche of licences to explore for uranium -- which was legalised in NSW earlier this year, though mining remains banned for now -- closed last month and will be made public later this week. The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) application covers the Vales Point and Lake Munmorah power stations operated by Delta Electricity on the NSW central coast, and the Liddell and Bayswater stations operated in the Hunter Valley by Macquarie Generation. A NSWALC source said there could be hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of exportable uranium contained in the dams. (The Australian Nov. 20, 2012)

Protest in Sydney against government move to permit uranium exploration in New South Wales

The "immoral" decision to allow companies to express interest in exploring for uranium in NSW is simply testing the waters for a uranium mining industry, NSW deputy opposition leader Linda Burney says. About 100 protesters gathered outside parliament in Sydney on Tuesday (Nov. 13) to mark the end of the government's initial 60-day period for expressions of interest in uranium exploration. The protesters are highlighting the dangers of uranium mining, use and waste. Addressing the crowd, Ms Burney said it was immoral for the state government to end a 26-year bipartisan agreement on uranium mining and suggested the next step would be giving them a green light to begin extracting the radioactive material. (AAP Nov. 13, 2012)

Broken Hill Aboriginal Land Council 'open' to uranium mining

The chairwoman of the Broken Hill Aboriginal Land Council says she is open to uranium exploration in the far west. But Maureen O'Donnell says the risks need to be discussed before any mining takes place. Applications to explore for uranium in New South Wales close next week, after the State Government voted to lift a ban earlier this year. (ABC Nov. 9, 2012)

Aboriginal land councils may apply for uranium exploration permits to avoid uranium mining

An environmental activist says Aboriginal land councils may apply for permits to explore for uranium because they now don't have to give permission for exploration on their land. Natalie Wasley from the Beyond Nuclear Initiative is organising a protest next month, when expressions of interest for the permits close. The far west is believed to be rich in uranium.
Ms Wasley says exploration will inevitably lead to mining, and that the Broken Hill Aboriginal Land Council should have to give permission for mining activity to happen on their land. "Unfortunately when the exploration laws changed they actually altered the Aboriginal Land Rights Act to say that local councils don't have to give consent for exploration to go ahead," she said. (ABC Oct. 23, 2012)

New South Wales calls for expression of interest in uranium exploration licences, after exploration ban lifted

In a bid to boost the state economy, New South Wales Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said on Saturday (Sep. 15) that NSW is open to uranium exploration. Besides announcing the state policy, Mr Hartcher moved one step ahead by seeking expressions of interest in licences.
In March, NSW repealed its 26-year prohibition on uranium exploration despite opposition from Green and Labor MPs who insisted the O'Farrell government had no mandate to repeal the ban.
Mr Hartcher said companies interested have until Nov. 13 to submit their expressions of interest. (International Business Times Sep. 17, 2012)
> Download Chris Hartcher release Sep. 15, 2012 (PDF)
> View Uranium exploration (NSW Division of Resources and Energy)

 

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