Indigenous Australian conservationists have lost their legal bid to stop a radioactive project worth $430 million.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia’s Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the Conservation Council of WA and Tjiwarl native title group to prevent Cameco’s Yeelirrie Uranium Mine from proceeding in the Northern Goldfields region, 420km north of Kalgoorlie Boulder.
Mine does not endanger fauna
The council accused then WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob of risking the extinction of endangered and unique subterranean fauna in the project area by approving the mine back in 2017. However, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal both rejected the appeal.
Jacob approved the project 16 days before the pre-election caretaker mode began according to the Australian Associated Press.
The project involves developing an open-pit mine, measuring 9km long and 1.5km wide, and processing facilities capable of producing up to 7500 tonnes or 16.5 million pounds of uranium oxide concentrate each year for a total of 15 years.
Eight new mining projects added to FIFO blacklist
Court dismisses Indigenous land appeal against $21B coal project
$135.7M mineral project signs major cross border deal with Asia
More details revealed for $1B Bowen Basin mine.
The mine will also require:
- on-site quarry to provide raw construction materials
- pit dewatering system consisting of trenches, sump drains and pumps to lower the groundwater
level within the pit to allow safe access to the ore body and to provide a primary process water
- water supply wellfield and associated infrastructure to supplement the water obtained from pit
- surface water diversion system to exclude water from the mining area, the tailings and the
- electricity supply network powered by a series of on-site diesel (or gas fired) generators
- buildings including workshops, offices and warehouses
- accommodation village catering for a peak on-site construction workforce of up to 1200
- potable water, sewage treatment plants and associated infrastructure.
1500 jobs expected
If approved the project will employ up to 1200 workers during construction and up to 300 staff once operational. Cameco is planning to employ fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers.