Green lobby doubts Yeelirrie economics
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.