Green lobby doubts Yeelir­rie eco­nom­ics

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Tamra Carr

The Con­ser­va­tion Coun­cil of West­ern Aus­tralia is dis­put­ing claims the Yeelir­rie ura­nium mine project will bring the State sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fit.

The com­pany be­hind the project, Cameco, has said it will em­ploy an av­er­age of 225 peo­ple, and up to 1200 dur­ing peak con­struc­tion at the project, south of Wiluna.

The Cana­dian-owned world’s largest pub­licly traded ura­nium com­pany says pri­or­ity will be given to train­ing and hir­ing lo­cal peo­ple.

Con­ser­va­tion Coun­cil of West­ern Aus­tralia di­rec­tor Piers Ver­ste­gen said Cameco had not made an in­vest­ment de­ci­sion on the project and, given the poor mar­ket for ura­nium, there was a real like­li­hood the project would fail to turn a profit, leav­ing an ex­pen­sive mine re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion prob­lem for WA tax­pay­ers.

The Mid­west Times asked Cameco to re­spond to the en­vi­ron­men­tal group’s claims and the com­pany is­sued a re­sponse dis­cussing po­ten­tial in­vest­ment on the project.

“This in­for­ma­tion was rig­or­ously as­sessed at the high­est level of pub­lic en­vi­ron­men­tal re­view and con­tin­ues to be re­viewed by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment un­der the En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion and Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Act,” a spokesper­son said.

“Should an in­vest­ment de­ci­sion on the project be made, Cameco will con­tinue to work with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and stake­hold­ers to op­ti­mise op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­ploy­ment and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.”

The min­ing project was given the green light by for­mer Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Al­bert Ja­cob in Jan­uary, de­spite an En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity rec­om­men­da­tion last Au­gust that the project be de­nied ap­proval be­cause it posed a risk to sub­ter­ranean fauna. The Yeelir­rie min­ing project is un­der Supreme Court re­view.

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