September 19, 2013

ENERGY RESOURCES Moves To End Uranium Mines Toxic Water Spills

Published on Thursday Sept 19 2013 (AEST)  

 Energy Resources has installed new equipment to overcome toxic water problems at the Ranger Uranium mine near Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.  

U3O8- ERA Moves to end Uranium Mines Toxic Water Spills

Energy Resources of Australia ( ERA ) has spent $220 million on a brine concentrator to treat contaminated water Chief executive Rob Atkinson says it is a worthwhile investment. "The brine concentrator is a critical component of ERA's future," he said. 

The successful treatment of process water is key to rehabilitating the site. "Without this, I do not believe we would have a future." The miner says clean water from the concentrator can be released into wetlands, and the toxic brine left behind will be collected and buried in the disused open-cut mining pit. ERA says the concentrator will produce around five million litres a day of clean water a day, or 1.8 billion litres a year. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation ( ACF ) says the move is long overdue. ACF spokesman Dave Sweeney says while the new equipment is a good thing, damage to the environment has already been done. "That mine has been plagued with water management and contamination problems for decades," he said. He says the equipment should help to address chronic water problems. "It will be an important part of the next phase of operations at Ranger," he said. 

"The next phase is about closure, clean-up, and a measured and comprehensive rehabilitation and exit."



September 12, 2013

Queensland Takes Next Step To Uranium Mining

Published on Thursday Sept 12 2013 (AEST)    

U3O8- Queensland Takes Next Step To Uranium Mining Industry Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:40 Andrew Cripps 

Brisbane 12 September 2013. The Newman Government has today taken the next important step in re-establishing the uranium mining industry in Queensland. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps today released an action plan to implement a best practice regulatory framework for uranium mining in Queensland that will ensure the maintenance of strict environmental, safety and approval standards. The government has developed this implementation strategy in response to a detailed report by the Uranium Mining Implementation Committee ( UMIC ) which was released in March 2013, Mr Cripps said. 

The strategy outlines the actions various state government agencies will deliver and covers all aspects of the approvals process, including environmental standards, safety and health, economic and community development, indigenous opportunities and native title. Mr Cripps said uranium exports had the potential to generate significant revenue for Queensland over the next two decades. With an estimated value of the in-ground uranium resource in Queensland of approximately $10 billion, with more than $8 billion located in north-west Queensland, the industry has real potential to support economic growth and job creation,” he said. 

The government's focus is to ensure all the uranium-specific regulatory guidelines and protocols are in place to begin assessing applications from mid-July 2014. Importantly, the Newman Government has endorsed the Committee’s key finding that, with certain adaptations, Queensland’s existing systems for regulating mining and radiation safety are robust and can accommodate uranium across the mining cycle. The best practice regulatory framework will take account of all relevant issues across the uranium mining life cycle such as:

  - Whole of project assessments (including tenure management)

 - Safe handling and transportation

 - Safety and health risk management systems

 - Environmental management, and

 - Native title  

A Uranium Mining Oversight Committee will be established to review and monitor progress against the action plan and take a lead role on technical oversight issues, project governance and delivery timeframes. Mr Cripps said commercial demand for uranium would determine when uranium mining would recommence in Queensland. There are a number of factors that will influence the timing of uranium mining operations and it is ultimately a commercial decision for industry proponents," he said. 

These factors include the world market price for uranium, supply and demand in that market, and mining costs. The Queensland Government's role is to provide investment certainty for industry by having best practice regulatory, compliance and approval processes in place. Cheers to Campbell Newman :)

 This is great news for the Queensland Uranium Industry :)