Published on Tuesday April 02 2013 (AEST)The federal government has approved a $280 million uranium mine for Western Australia. Toro Energy's flagship project, 30km south of Wiluna township about 700km east of Geraldton, has been signed off with 36 strict conditions.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said he was satisfied it could proceed without unacceptable impacts on the environment, both during mining operations and beyond the 14-year life of the mine. "My decision comes after a rigorous environmental assessment," he said in a statement on Tuesday. The 36 conditions relate to risks to groundwater and surface water, and from radiation.
They include precautions to ensure once the mine is closed, the site will be made safe for humans and animals and will be non-polluting. Toro Energy is now required to provide Mr Burke with a detailed environmental management plan before substantial works can begin.
"The plan must describe how compliance with conditions will be achieved, and what action will be taken if conservative thresholds are exceeded," Mr Burke said. First uranium sales from the mine are expected in 2014.
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