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Wednesday
Jul112007

Queensland Uranium Mining Update

Australia has more known uranium reserves than any other country in the world, Queensland has an estimated $20 billion in uranium resources, and some of our best performing uranium stocks have big projects in the area.

Queensland Uranium Mining Update

Therefore we are watching the situation very closely and now bring you the latest updates on what is going on down under.


So far the Three Mines Policy is still in place, which, for those of you who don't know, only allows three uranium mines to operate in Australia. These are the Ranger, Nabarlek and Olympic Dam mines, which were already in production when the policy was formulated. The power to allow uranium mining is planned to be given to the state government by the Labour Party of Australia a few months ago. This was one barrier removed from stopping uranium mining in the area but it still remains to be seen when the state premiers, particularly in Queensland, will give the go ahead for uranium mines to be developed, if the Labour Party get their new policy through, assuming they get elected.


And now to more recent events. A company called Duyfken Energy has applied for 38 exploration permits pending with the state government of Queensland to explore an area of about 8000 sq km in the north of the state for uranium deposits. The continuously rising uranium price is sparking a “uranium rush” as many companies scramble to find resources.

However, the companies that stand to gain the most, and indeed the ones that have been gaining the most are the ones that were in position first. Companies that we like are Mega Uranium and Laramide Resources, both of which are down as BUY on our uranium stocks portfolio.

But until the state premiers give the go ahead, we won't see any movement towards production, The only way companies like Mega and Laramide can grow is by extending there resource base and benefiting from a rising uranium price.

A quote caught our eye from the Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson. When commenting on the Three Mines Policy he said: "It's in black and white - it's been there for years and it will continue to be there for years because the government position - has been well stated and made known by the Premier - is that there will be no mining leases granted for uranium in Queensland.”

Well that might not actually be the case...

Peter Beattie is the Premier of Queensland at the moment and he is a member of the Labour Party in Australia. Currently, the Liberal Party is in power in the federal government, with John Howard as Australia's Prime Minister. Now the Labour Party, supports a re-think of the uranium mining policy and they are currently leading in the polls. A federal election is due to take place soon in Australia, and so we could so the Labour Party coming into power. At the moment, a new policy on uranium mining has not been formulated by the Labour Party, so there is not a great deal of pressure on Beattie to change Queensland's policy. However, if the Labour Party get into power, then they are likely to make a policy on uranium mining and although they can no longer dictate to Queensland what to do, they can certainly lean heavily on the State Premier, a member of their own party, to toe the party line and abide by their policy.

Or indeed,we could see a new State Premier in Queensland, as Beattie has been in the position for nearly 10 years and there has been some speculation that he might leave his post in Queensland to enter national politics. Although nothing has been confirmed, he has hinted that he may step down in the next 12 months. A new Premier could bring with them a fresh view on uranium mining and could bring with them a new set of policies that are more suited to the situation in today's uranium and nuclear industry. After all, in 1998 when Beattie took power in Queensland, uranium was on the floor and quite rightly many people were opposed to the mining of yellow cake, especially at such low prices.

Regardless of whether Beattie stays or goes, Queensland has to wake up to the fact that the uranium industry has changed and the state really needs to re-think its attitude towards uranium. In fact, just this week the chief executive of the Queensland Resource Council (QRC), Michael Roche, said it was only a matter of time before Queensland would allow uranium mining especially in the light of world energy demands which are expected to grow by 50 per cent over the next two decades. He also said that pressure on politicians by Australians to allow uranium mining would also increase. Roche said: “It is hard for a state government to say to its citizens, we're going to deny this state the best part of 1,000 new jobs, best part of $1.5 million of mineral production each year and a new source of royalties. That's a new source of tax dollars and a new source of funding important services for the people of Queensland.”

We think that those figure are a little conservative, as it only accounts for just over eleven thousand pounds of U3O8 being mined, whereas we feel that if Queensland opened up its uranium mining industry, within a few years there would be millions of pounds of yellow cake coming out of the state equalling hundreds of millions of dollars in exports. This will be the driving factor behind the push for more uranium mining in Queensland, money, pure and simple. Queensland's massive uranium resource wealth has been ignored for too long, its only a matter of time before it hits the world stage.

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for the update on Queensland. Premier Beattie has done a flip-flop before, when he commissioned a study on the effects of uranium mining on the coal mining industry in Queensland. When that report stated that there would be very little impact on the coal industry, Beattie said he would allow uranium mining if the Labour Party changed it's policy at the April convention. Then he changed his opinion and said he would NOT allow uranium mining. So, given whatever influences there are in the political world, it appears Beattie will go with the most current flow. Not a very strong position for a politician, as who could depend on him?

Here's hoping we will see a change in the Queensland mining policy.

July 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterstoneygulch

Despite being the American spelling, the Australian Labor Party spells thier party name as written. This alone, is a good indication of the credibility of this site's information.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoe bloggs

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