Home' Australian Resources and Investment : September 2014 Contents VOLUME 8 NUMBER 3 • Australian Resources and Investment • 91
the Toro accommodation camp. There
will be no prolonged stopovers beyond
the mine site. Toro has also committed
to progressive rehabilitation of its
The mine will be a shallow, open-cut
surface mine to a maximum depth of 15
metres. As sections of the Wiluna pits
are exhausted, they will be back lled
and rehabilitated to elevations and
slopes similar to the original landscapes.
Wiluna is the only current Western
Australian uranium mine proposal to
receive both Western Australian and federal
government environmental approvals.
Toro is developing an Operational
Mining Proposal and Mine Closure
and Rehabilitation Plan, which will be
available for stakeholder input.
The company is also currently
engineering a tailings cap that will
ensure that radiation releases are
contained within naturally occurring
The storage construction is designed
so that radioactive material left after
processing remains within the tailings
facility and does not leach into the
Cameco's Kintyre project is expected
to deliver signi cant economic bene ts
to Western Australia, and particularly
to the people of the East Pilbara. It is
anticipated that the project will employ
up to 450 people, with priority given to
hiring and training local people, including
traditional owners, the Martu people.
Cameco has considerable experience
in the management of radiation during
mining and milling operations.
As part of the planning for the
Kintyre project, Cameco has completed
radiation modelling, and emissions and
dispersion studies to understand any
potential risks to the public, workers
and the environment.
'These studies have shown that only
very low levels of radiation will occur
outside of the immediate mine site,' says
Cameco Australia Managing Director
Reilly says that uranium concentrate
has been safely transported by road
within Australia for more than 30 years.
Uranium concentrate produced at
Kintyre will be sealed in 200-litre steel
drums, and then stowed in shipping
containers and secured using a Kevlar-
based strapping system.
Each drum will be registered and
recorded before the shipping container
is sealed. The containers will then be
locked and will not be opened, unless
for of cial inspections, until they reach
their overseas destination.
EMA's Julian Tapp says that the
company expects about 200 full-time
jobs to be created once production
has started, hopefully towards the end
'More [people] would be employed
during the anticipated construction
phase from mid-2015 to the end of
2016,' he says.
Tapp also says that attention to
the safety of future employees is a
'We expect the drying and packaging
stage to be fully automated to limit
human exposure to associated dust,'
EMA plans to undertake progressive
rehabilitation of the mine. 'We will be
putting tailings back into the mining
void and then back lling with 30 metres
of new overburden material,' he says.
Paladin's John Borshoff believes in
signi cant involvement with all aspects
of the local community, throughout all
activity phases, including exploration,
development, operations and closure.
'Communities near Manyingee,
such as Onslow, will be kept updated
on the progress of the project so that
they are in a position to maximise the
economic benefit from the project,'
'While Manyingee is in a relatively
remote and isolated area, it is expected
that there will be employment
opportunities available to locals,
including the local traditional owners,
and, to a lesser extent, economic bene ts
to the local pastoralists,' he says.
'This is already the case to a certain
extent during the initial exploration
phase; local pastoralists are being
contracted to clear areas, maintain
tracks and dig sumps for drilling.'
Borshoff believes that there is
little danger in transporting uranium
concentrate, and points to the industry's
outstanding global safety record.
Planning for mine closure is an
integral part of Paladin's proposed
mine development and operations. 'The
contents of the closure plan will be as
prescribed in the 2011 DMP and EPA
Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure
Plans,' Borshoff says.
The key players in Western Australia
are now waiting for the price of uranium
to rise so they can turn their plans into
action. Ironically, Japan may be the
country that triggers a revival of the
global uranium industry.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's
government has unveiled a pro-nuclear
energy plan that could open the door
to restarting some of Japan's 48 idled
reactors as soon as this year. Japan's
biggest neighbour, China, has 28
reactors under construction, and ve
of them will be ready to be connected
to the grid this year. Japan's next-door
neighbour, South Korea, has also given
the green light for the construction of
two new reactors to begin this year.
All Western Australian uranium
explorer eyes seem to be on the east as
the waiting game continues.
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