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Areva's a gonna - at least in Australia's Queensland

Published by MAC on 2015-03-24
Source: Cairns Post (2015-03-18)

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French abandon Far North uranium prospects

Daniel Bateman

The Cairns Post

18 March 2015

One of the world’s largest uranium producers is pulling out of the Far North following the State Government’s renewed ban on uranium mining.

Areva Resources Australia has confirmed it is in the process of relinquishing its exploration projects in Queensland on “technical” grounds.

Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham has said a statewide prohibition will once again be put in place over uranium mining, forcing several companies to shelve development plans.

Areva had been exploring in the Karumba and Carpentaria basins since about 2012.

Areva Resources Australia managing director Joe Potter said the company would not be applying for new exploration tenements in Queensland in the near future, in light of the recent state policy changes and general downturn in the uranium market.

“Areva has been a pioneer in uranium exploration and discovery since the 1960s and still aims to become a uranium producer in Australia,’’ he said.

“We also look forward to a consistent and stable policy from both state and federal governments.”

He said the company had spent about $9 million on its Queensland exploration.

“At the exploration stage, you typically employ small teams of approximately 10 people locally, including contractors,’’ he said.

“As the exploration matures and intensifies with success and into pre-feasibility studies, you can take those numbers up to 50 plus.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the government’s proposal to reinstate a ban on uranium mining was disappointing but not surprising.

“Before rushing to a decision, we would ask the government to consult the QRC and companies with uranium interests,’’ he said.

Australian Conservation Foundation Northern Australia program officer Andrew Picone welcomed the return of a ban and the departure of Areva.

“The fact that Areva have pulled up stumps in Queensland’s Gulf only illustrates the market’s global contraction,’’ he said.

 

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