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3/12/2017 by mdc
Paul Garvey reports that Labor victory in the West Australian election has cast a shadow over the state uranium sector, with the industry urging the incoming government to keep the door open for the most advanced uranium projects. Labor went to the polls on a platform opposed to the development of uranium projects, with the exception of any proposal that had already received government approvals.

The WA uranium projects of ASX-listed duo Vimy Resources and Toro Energy, along with Canadian uranium heavyweight Cameco, were all approved by Colin Barnett government in the months leading up to the election. But anti-nuclear campaigners argue that the ticks received by the projects to date fall far short of representing the full suite of approvals required before they can move into development.

Mia Pepper, a nuclear-free campaigner with the Conservation Council of WA, told The Australian she would be urging the new Labor government to block the proposed developments. Under Barnett, those companies tried to get as many approvals as possible to shore up their position under a Labor government and she thinks they have fallen well short. They have got conditional state approval, and in some cases conditional federal approval, but those are not final approvals, Ms. Pepper said. The evidence is clear that those approvals are not final.

Simon Bennison, from the junior resources lobby group the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, however, said he expected Labor to keep its commitment to allow advanced uranium projects to proceed into construction. Their policy is disappointing to our group, there is no doubt about that, and we will work to make sure those current proposals that have been working through the approvals process are honored,

Uranium prices have started to improve in recent months after years in the doldrums, with capital slowly starting to return to the sector, so activity is anticipated in 2017 or 2018.

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