Uranium mining will again be banned in Queensland just three years after the decades-long prohibition was overturned by the Newman Government.
According to The Courier Mail, the state’s new Mines Minister, Anthony Lynham, confirmed over the weekend that no uranium mines would be approved under his watch.
The news will disappoint several companies in the north west who have invested large sums of money in uranium exploration and feasibility studies over the past three years.
Those companies will still be permitted to conduct mineral exploration, however any development applications would be rejected under Minister Lynham’s reported new policy.
Head of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Michael Roche, said the decision comes as a blow to the state’s struggling mining sector.
“Before rushing to a decision, we would ask the government to consult the QRC and companies with uranium interests on its intentions concerning uranium,” Mr Roche said.
“Rather than a blanket ban, the better option would be to judge each project on its merits and against the regulatory framework for uranium.”
Mr Roche said the ban would particularly affect future job growth in the north west of the state.
“Reimposition of a blanket ban on uranium mining will come as a particular disappointment to the people of north-west Queensland who rightly see uranium mining as a valuable new jobs generator for the region,” Mr Roche said.
Uranium mining was banned in Queensland in the late 1980s with the closure of the controversial Mary Kathleen mine near Cloncurry. The ban was then overturned in 2012 by the newly elected Newman Government.