National and state environment groups have condemned todays federal government conditional environmental approval for uranium mining beside WA’s largest national park as rushed and irresponsible.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has agreed to Canadian uranium miner Cameco’s application to develop the Kintyre mine adjacent to the Karlamilyi National Park in the East Pilbara.
The conditional approval comes despite strong opposition from local Aboriginal landowners and continuing uncertainty surrounding contested consultations and agreements over the mine plan.
“On Anzac Eve the government has backed the wrong diggers,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.
“This mine plan does not enjoy broad support and the mining company has said it has no immediate plans to develop the project because of the low commodity price. The federal government had time to genuinely examine this plan – instead it has chosen to fast-track an approval before a national holiday”.
The planned Kintyre mine is located in an area excised from the Karlamilyi National Park and threatens the environmental integrity and water quality of this important region. The project is 70 per cent owned by Cameco of Canada, currently under active investigation in Canada for tax evasion, and thirty per cent owned by Mitsubishi.
“It is irresponsible for Minister Hunt to have given approval for this project at this time”, said CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper.
“A unique part of our country faces an unnecessary threat because of this approval. We will continue our work with the local Parnngurr community and many wider community members and organisations to stop a poor political decision becoming a polluting Pilbara mine”.
Further context or comment:
Mia Pepper – Conservation Council of WA - 0415 380 808
Dave Sweeney – Australian Conservation Foundation – 0408 317 812