View Comments
New conditions for WA uranium mine
New conditions for WA uranium mine

Environmental conditions for WA's planned first uranium mine have been strengthened after an independent review of appeals.

The board of Adelaide-based Toro Energy aims to make a decision on whether to proceed with its Wiluna project in central WA by the first half of 2013.

The project was approved by WA's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in May and nine appeals were reviewed ahead of a decision by the State's Environment Minister Bill Marmion on whether to approve the planned mine.

Mr Marmion today said an independent committee considered 21 grounds of appeal and recommended several changes to the EPA's draft conditions that would strengthen protection of stygofauna and groundwater dependent vegetation, and better address surface water flows, dust management and rehabilitation.

"I am satisfied the appeals committee has carefully considered all the matters raised in the appeals and have accepted their recommendations," he said.

"My next step is to consult with decision-making authorities and other agencies, including the ministers for mines and petroleum and indigenous affairs; and the Radiological Council, which assists the Minister for Health, on whether they agree that this proposed uranium mine should proceed and, if so, what conditions will be set."

The Liberal State Government in 2008 lifted a six-year ban on uranium mining imposed by the previous Labor government.

WA's Opposition remains opposed to uranium mining, but will not stand in the way of any planned uranium mine that has received approvals if the party wins the state election in March.

There are no other uranium projects in WA that would be fully environmentally approved by the time of the election.