MINING controversial commodity uranium in WA will be held to the highest standard with independent experts set to scrutinise upcoming operations.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has appointed 10 independent experts to provide high-level legal advice on the implementation of a world’s best uranium sector regulatory framework.
The tender was awarded to the Australian Centre for Geomechanics, a joint venture of the University of WA, Curtin University and CSIRO.
The new group comes as several resources companies including BHP Billiton and Toro Energy are vying to develop the state’s first uranium mine, which could be as early as 2013.
Mr Moore said the group of experts would provide advice to the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) on its regulatory framework for uranium mining.
“DMP is well placed to regulate radioactive materials after about 40 years of experience regulating mineral sands and tantalum without major incident,” Mr Moore said.
“The department has already looked at Western Australia’s relevant mining and safety legislation and has found these laws can adequately regulate increased uranium exploration and uranium mining in the State.
“However, the State Government knows the general public needs to have confidence in this as well.
“This independent expert advice will help the DMP ensure uranium mining in WA is undertaken in accordance with world’s best practice.
“DMP is setting a very high standard for uranium companies to follow and, by inviting independent, third-party scrutiny, it will help ensure the standards set are best practice.”