Government of Western Australia Official Site


State Government supports growing uranium sector

Norman Moore
Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore reiterated the Western Australian Government’s support for the safe development of new uranium supplies to support the global energy sector at the AusIMM International Uranium Conference held in Perth for the first time in early June. Mr Moore said nuclear power remained an important part of the future energy mix for the State’s key trading partners. “The long-term outlook for uranium is positive and this is reflected by the growth of uranium exploration in Western Australia,” he said.

WA’s uranium exploration expenditure was worth $84 million during 2010, an increase of 87 per cent on 2009, and accounted for 44 per cent of national exploration spending on uranium. The State has a known resource of more than 207,000 tonnes of uranium oxide in about 30 separate deposits, and has four projects undergoing State and Federal approval processes – Yeelirrie (BHP Billiton), Wiluna (Toro Energy), Lake Maitland (Mega Uranium) and Kintyre (Cameco/Mitsubishi JV).

Mr Moore said he understood there were some community concerns surrounding uranium mining and transportation in Western Australia. He is confident WA has the systems and regulations in place to ensure the safe operation of the industry. “It is also important to acknowledge that WA has effectively regulated radioactive substances stemming from mineral sands and tantalum mining for more than 40 years,” he said. “This includes the transportation of product, the management of radioactive waste and the export of radioactive materials.”