Published on Tuesday December 07 2010
THE Australian Government Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has given approval for the US-owned and privately held Heathgate to develop its Beverley North uranium project in South Australia.
The deposit lies to the north of Heathgate's existing Beverley uranium mine and processing operations. Overall production from the greater Beverley area is to remain about the same, although the incorporation of the reserves from the northern deposits will extend the life of the project.
Heathgate, part of General Atomics Resources, has said previously that it had found a ''significant'' zone of uranium mineralisation in the northern tenements. It has not released information on the size of the find.
Federal government approval for uranium projects is no longer the hot issue it used to be after the 2009 approval for the development of the Four Mile uranium joint venture between a Heathgate subsidiary and the Melbourne company Alliance Resources.
Environmental clearance for the Four Mile development, so called because it is four miles (6.4 kilometres) from Beverley - was granted by the former federal environment minister Peter Garrett last year.
Mr Garrett, the former anti-uranium activist who once stood for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, said at the time he was ''certain this operation poses no credible risk to the environment''.
Four Mile was to have become Australia's fourth uranium mine but legal squabbles between the partners have resulted in its development being delayed.
Meanwhile, the $138 million Honeymoon project in SA, a joint venture between Canada's Uranium One (51 per cent interest) and Japan's Mitsui & Co (49 per cent), has become Australia's fourth uranium mine.
Uranium One recently became majority owned by Russia's AtomRedMetzoloto.
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