Wednesday, January 16, 2008
New uranium mine gets go ahead
January 11, 2008
The South Australian Government has given final approval for construction of the Honeymoon uranium mine, near the state's eastern border.
Some conditions remain to be met by the company Uranium One, but production is expected to begin at Honeymoon, 400 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, before the end of the year.
The mine is expected to produce up to 400 tonnes of uranium oxide annually, generate about $40 million a year in exports and create about 60 jobs.
The company forecasts the mine, north-west of Broken Hill (which is across the border in New South Wales), will have a life of up to seven years.
Acid solution will extract uranium ore
SA's acting Minister for Mineral Resources Michael Atkinson says a comprehensive rehabilitation plan has been developed for the site.
He says it will be mined using an acid-solution method.
"It's been agreed that solution mining for uranium at Honeymoon is the most benign, environmentally-friendly method of mining uranium.
"There'll be no tailing or waste rock created."
David Noonan from the Australian Conservation Council believes ground water will be sacrificed so the uranium can be mined.
"They're essentially deliberately polluting ground water," he said.
"They're causing a pollution plume in ground water by the discharge of all of the mine waste there simply to suit the company's profits and to minimise costs in waste management to, in this case, an overseas uranium mining venture."
Honeymoon will be Australia's fourth uranium mine.
South Australia also has mines at Olympic Dam and Beverley and there is the Ranger mine in the Northern Territory.