Activists ramp up U-mine protests
Jo Vallentine and protesters outside Toro Energy's office. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Conservationists have stepped up opposition against plans for WA's first uranium mine, vowing to use civil disobedience to stop the contentious project going ahead.

A day after the Federal Government gave Toro Energy's planned $270 million Wiluna mine environmental approval, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam foreshadowed "non-violent direct action workshops".

Senator Ludlam made the comments at a rally outside Toro's West Perth offices, where protesters, including former WA senator Jo Vallentine, railed against what she called the "foul" uranium industry.

Up to 780 tonnes of uranium oxide a year would be produced at Toro's northern Goldfields mine.

The oxide would be taken to Adelaide by trucks and shipped overseas.

Despite Environment Minister Tony Burke's green light, Toro faces major challenges in securing native title agreement with the indigenous groups affected.

A spokesman for the claimants, the Wiluna and Tarlpa groups, said talks with Toro were going well but it was doubtful an agreement could be reached this year.

Amid the row over whether uranium could be safely mined and transported in WA, the Australian Uranium Association said conservation groups were scaremongering.

AUA chief executive Michael Angwin said yesterday Mr Burke's approval of Toro's plans - which have also been vetted by WA's environmental regulators - showed yellowcake was not a threat.

He said claims by green groups attacking the economic prospects of Toro's proposal were nothing more than a "ruse" and would also be proved wrong.

The West Australian

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