The federal government’s approval for a uranium mine next door to WA’s largest national park as rushed and irresponsible, national and state environment groups said.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has given the green light to Canadian uranium miner Cameco’s application to mine uranium at Kintyre, adjacent to the Karlamilyi National Park in the East Pilbara.

The approval comes despite strong opposition from local Aboriginal landowners and continuing uncertainty and contest surrounding consultations and agreements over the mine plan. In the last two days more than 2,500 people have emailed Minister Hunt calling on him not to approve the mine.

“On Anzac Eve the government has backed the wrong diggers,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“This mine plan does not enjoy broad support. The company has said it has no immediate plans to develop the project because of the low commodity price.

“The federal government had time to genuinely examine this plan – instead it has chosen to fast-track its approval on the afternoon before a national holiday.”

The planned Kintyre mine is located in an area excised from the Karlamilyi National Park. It threatens the environmental integrity and water quality of this important region. The project is 70 per cent owned by Cameco, currently under active investigation in Canada for tax evasion, and 30 per cent owned by Mitsubishi.

“It is irresponsible for Minister Hunt to have approved this project at this time,” said CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper.

“A unique part of our country faces an unnecessary threat because of this approval. We will continue our work with the local Parnngurr community and many wider community members and organisations to stop a poor political decision becoming a polluting mine.”

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