West Australian uranium hopeful Vimy Resources – the Andrew Forrest backed company named after a WW1 battle - is facing a fight as it tries to advance a project at Mulga Rock, east of Kalgoorlie.
National and state environment groups have joined wider civil society groups and Aboriginal representatives ahead of Vimy’s annual meeting in Perth today to re-affirm opposition to the plan, approval for which was controversially rushed through in the dying days of the Barnett government.
Traditional custodians affected by the project, the Spinifex people who settled in the area in the 1960’s after leaving SA following the British atomic weapons tests at Maralinga, have expressed concern over environmental and cultural impacts and insufficient consultation around the mine plan.
On forming government in March the WA Labor inherited four uranium proposals with assessment processes in train.
Labor has decided to continue with these processes while not accepting any further applications, continuing to consider projects is very different from committing to approve them.
“Uranium mining has no place in West Australia and any project will be actively contested,” said Conservation Council of WA Nuclear Free Campaigner, K A Garlick
“Uranium starts with a U for a good reason: it is unsafe, unpopular, unprofitable and unwelcome”.
“The Barnett government’s radioactive rubber stamp of Mulga Rock was deficient and irresponsible,” said Ms Garlick. “Any further consideration needs to be based on evidence, not driven by enthusiasm”.
The uranium market remains deeply depressed and project critics have questioned its viability and the company’s capacity.
“Vimy Resources is putting a brave face on speculative roll of the dice,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney. “They lack finance, full approvals, social licence and a market. Having a gamble is hardly news in the mining sector, but gambling with the product that fuelled Fukushima and always generates long lived radioactive waste is not acceptable and will be challenged”.