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Deep Yellow’s uranium mine plans under the spotlight as controversial company prepares for AGM

November 24, 2022

Controversial plans for uranium mining east of Kalgoorlie will be the focus of environment groups, Traditional Owners, unions and concerned shareholders attending Deep Yellow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Perth, tomorrow.

Deep Yellow holds the only uranium deposit in WA which has been allowed to advance beyond primary approvals and is the proponent behind the highly controversial Mulga Rock uranium mine proposal. This is the company’s first AGM following its merger with Vimy Resources in August 2022

Deep Yellow has commenced a third Definitive Feasibility Study into the beleaguered Mulga Rock project, expected to be completed in mid-2024. This latest project delay casts further doubt on the future of the site which has been widely criticised by industry analysts, conservationists and First Nations communities in the area.

 

“Uranium mining is uneconomic, unwanted and the Mulga Rock project is going nowhere fast”

 

Mia Pepper, Nuclear Free Campaigner at the Conservation Council of WA, has been tracking the progress of the mine for over ten years and seen the proposal transferred to new companies and executive teams on numerous occasions.  She believes that the mine now faces more opposition than ever.

Deep Yellow does not have all of the necessary approvals to mine”, she said.

 “It doesn’t have any agreement with the Native Title claim groups. It doesn’t have the finance and it is now embarking on a third definitive feasibility study, not expected for another two years.

 “Deep Yellow is the only company beating the uranium drum in Western Australia and even their own executive team has been clear they have no intention to mine at the current uranium price.

 “Uranium mining is uneconomic, unwanted and the Mulga Rock project is going nowhere fast. For a company with a highly speculative business model, no operating mines, many regulatory hurdles still to clear, and a sizeable pricing disincentive[1], it’s astounding that shareholders would endorse the proposed remuneration package for the Deep Yellow executive team, with the CEO alone receiving over $1 million.” [2]

 

 “We have been saying no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock for a long time”

 

 Of all the controversies associated with the Mulga Rock mine, continued protests by First Nations communities directly affected by the proposal have become the most high-profile mark against Deep Yellow’s reputation.

In the latest of a series of interventions from Traditional Owners, Hon Brad Pettitt MLC read out a statement on behalf of Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women in the WA Parliament last week:  “We are Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women and we are writing because we face the unprecedented threat of uranium mining at Mulga Rock, east of Kalgoorlie…. We have been saying no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock for a long time

The statement details concerns about the executive team at Deep Yellow who held senior roles in companies responsible for the destruction of Juukan Gorge as well as several incidents of environmental pollution, industrial relations controversies and workplace fatalities at uranium mines in Malawi and Namibia.

The statement concludes: “Our culture is built on respect for the past and responsibility for the future. We do not have confidence in others who seek to operate on our country but who do not share or show those values.”

Mia Pepper said: “Deep Yellow’s proposed uranium mine puts the endangered Sandhill Dunnart closer to the brink and we’ve already seen reckless and premature clearing of critical habitat. The project would use 15 million litres of water per day and leave behind 32 million tonnes of radioactive waste.”

First Nations communities, environment groups, unions, health and faith groups have come together to call for the withdrawal of uranium mine approvals in WA including a review and withdrawal of the Mulga Rock uranium project.

The Uranium Free Charter WA 2022, will be delivered to the state Environment Minister next week.

 

ENDS

 

Deep Yellow Annual General Meeting / protest

When: Friday 25 November 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Where: University Club UWA, Hackett Drive

What: Speakers, demonstration, briefings

 

MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.

 

CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies on 08 9420 7291 or by email, [email protected]

 

[1] John Borhsoff told an investor forum the uranium price needed to be $60/lb to warrant new mines, the uranium price has historically only reached $60/lb half a dozen times and is currently hovering around $50/lb

[2] John Boshoff’s remuneration package for 2021-2022 was $1.3 million, Gillian Swaby - $760,000. In addition, Deep Yellow paid one of John Borshoff’s companies $1.4 million (and $1.1 million the year before) for technical and geological services).

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