The Conservation Council of WA has congratulated Environment Minister Albert Jacob for dismissing an appeal by mining company Cameco, which had attempted to overturn the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)’s recommendation against the controversial Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said, “The EPA, the Appeals Convenor, and the Environment Minister have all come to the same conclusion that the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal cannot be made environmentally acceptable.
“Cameco has now exhausted every opportunity to convince the EPA and the community that their mine proposal can be made acceptable.
“Minister Jacob has only one responsible choice now, and that is to formally reject the mine proposal. We look forward to that announcement in the coming weeks.”
Nuclear Free Campaigner Mia Pepper said, “The primary reason for the EPA rejecting the mine was the significant and unique subterranean fauna values at Yeelirrie. However, environment groups also remain deeply concerned about the impact of uranium mining on the environment - including the threat to water and bush foods, and the effects of dust pollution.
“Traditional Owners in the area have been fighting against the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal for over forty years because of the cultural importance of the site. Today’s announcement has come as great relief both for Traditional Owners and pastoralists.
“The release of the appeals report today identified a very ugly side of Canadian company Cameco, the proponent of the Yeelirrie uranium project.
Cameco has demonstrated a disregard for WA environmental protection law, and their attack on the validity of our laws and our Government agencies in a bid to advance their own interests threatens our unique desert ecology.”
The Environment Minister will continue deliberations over the proposed mine, and a decision on whether or not to approve the mine is expecting in coming weeks.