A Qld Government media Statement follows..........
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Queensland takes next step to uranium mining industry
The Newman Government has today taken the next important step in re-establishing the uranium mining industry in Queensland.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps today released an action plan to implement a best practice regulatory framework for uranium mining in Queensland that will ensure the maintenance of strict environmental, safety and approval standards.
“The government has developed this implementation strategy in response to a detailed report by the Uranium Mining Implementation Committee (UMIC) which was released in March 2013,” Mr Cripps said.
“The strategy outlines the actions various state government agencies will deliver and covers all aspects of the approvals process, including environmental standards, safety and health, economic and community development, indigenous opportunities and native title.”
Mr Cripps said uranium exports had the potential to generate significant revenue for Queensland over the next two decades.
“With an estimated value of the in-ground uranium resource in Queensland of approximately $10 billion, with more than $8 billion located in north-west Queensland, the industry has real potential to support economic growth and job creation,” he said.
“The government’s focus is to ensure all the uranium-specific regulatory guidelines and protocols are in place to begin assessing applications from mid-July 2014.
“Importantly, the Newman Government has endorsed the Committee’s key finding that, with certain adaptations, Queensland’s existing systems for regulating mining and radiation safety are robust and can accommodate uranium across the mining cycle.”
The best practice regulatory framework will take account of all relevant issues across the uranium mining life cycle such as:
- Whole of project assessments (including tenure management)
- Safe handling and transportation
- Safety and health risk management systems
- Environmental management, and
- Native title
A Uranium Mining Oversight Committee will be established to review and monitor progress against the action plan and take a lead role on technical oversight issues, project governance and delivery timeframes.
Mr Cripps said commercial demand for uranium would determine when uranium mining would recommence in Queensland.
“There are a number of factors that will influence the timing of uranium mining operations and it is ultimately a commercial decision for industry proponents," he said.
“These factors include the world market price for uranium, supply and demand in that market, and mining costs.
“The Queensland Government’s role is to provide investment certainty for industry by having best practice regulatory, compliance and approval processes in place.”
More information is available at:
[ENDS] 12 September 2013
Media contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754