Australia’s Potential Uranium Mining Industry

2167 WordsAug 22, 20119 Pages
Australia’s Potential Uranium Mining Industry Summary Australia’s Uranium Resource Position Australia is the world‟s richest country in terms of uranium resources. Australia‟s uranium resources are spread over 85 deposits and accounts for 23% of the world‟s total resources. Kazakhstan is the current largest producer, producing 40% more tonnes of uranium than Australia while have considerably less reserves. Canada has the highest grade deposits but with much less resources than Australia, however they too produce much more uranium. ‘Three Mine Policy’ Introduced more than 30 years ago this policy inhibited the growth of Australia‟s uranium mining industry until 2007. The policy was changed in order to promote the future of Australia.…show more content…
(World Nuclear Association 2010: Uranium and Nuclear Power in Kazakhstan) Canada Canada has a long history of uranium mining dating back to the 1930‟s. It had the largest production of uranium for many years until overtaken by Kazakhstan in 2009. (World Nuclear Association 2010: Uranium in Canada) Canada has the world‟s largest high grade uranium mine; the McArthur River mine. It is also the most productive mine and contributed around 15% of world production in 2008. This deposit has reserves of 168 000 tonnes of uranium at a grade of 21.2%. (InfoMine 2005), (OECD 2007) „Three Mines Policy‟ The „Three Mine Policy‟ became effective after the Labor Party was voted into power in 1983. In the same month as taking office the new Federal Labour Government revoked the negotiating licences of the uranium companies in Australia. The Ranger and Narbarlek mines were relicensed after reapplication and in November of 1983 Caucus voted to approve the Roxby Downs project (today known as Olympic Dam) and prevent the operation of any new uranium mines. In the 1984 ALP National Conference the Government amended its party platform and its new position became known as the „Three Mines Policy‟. (Panter, Kay 1994) In 2007 the newly appointed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a change in uranium mining policy which led to the end of the 23 year old „Three mine policy‟ in order to promote the future of Australia. Currently

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