BHP Billiton has sold its WA Yeelirrie uranium deposit to Canada's Cameco Corporation for $414 million.

Yeelirrie is one of the most advanced uranium projects in WA and one of Australia's largest deposits.

BHP's uranium president Dean Dalla Valle said Cameco was one of the world's largest publicly listed uranium producers and was highly respected in the industry.

"We believe they are well placed to carry this project forward in a responsible manner,” he said in a statement.

The sale is subject to relevant approvals from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and the State Government

Premier Colin Barnett lifted a six-year ban on uranium mining in 2008.

BHP scrapped its expansion of Australia's largest uranium deposit Olympic Dam last week.

The future of Yeelirrie in BHP hands was questioned in June when BHP chief Marius Kloppers said nuclear fuel was little more than a by-product for its global operations.

“Our push is more towards development of the bigger options in our portfolio in the first instance, ” Mr Kloppers told WestBusiness.

“I probably see uranium more as a by-product for us. The core products for us for future investment are copper, oil, gas, potash, coal and iron ore. Uranium may make that from time to time but is not a core focus to build things for the purpose of producing uranium.”

AAP

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