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Paper clears Jabiluka to proceed



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DPIE97/213P 8 October 1997

PARER CLEARS JABILUKA TO PROCEED.

Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, today cleared the way for the Jabiluka uranium project to proceed.

He has advised Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA), operators of the Ranger Uranium Mine and the nearby Jabiluka deposit in the Northern Territory, of his endorsement of the recommendations of the Minister for the Environment, Senator

Robert Hill.

ERA will invest $70 million in capital to develop Jabiluka. The construction phase will employ up to 164 persons. The new mine will provide 110 new permanent jobs, additional to the 270 direct jobs at Ranger. Both operations will generate 1500

indirect jobs.

Royalties from Jabiluka will provide about $210 million over the proposed 28 year life of the mine for the Aboriginal community.

Senator Parer said he now required commitments from ERA to undertake further studies and to implement the intent of a number of recommendations relating to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory's consideration of the Kakadu Region

Social Impact Study.

"ERA will need to comply with these requirements before the Commonwealth will consider issuing an export permit when the mine becomes fully operational, expected around the year 2000," Senator Parer said.

He said that after studying the extensive EIS Senator Hill had advised... "that on the evidence available to him, there does not appear to be any environmental issue which would prevent the preferred Jabiluka proposal from proceeding. "

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"Those comprehensive recommendations from Senator Hill clearly recognise the importance of the biophysical, cultural and social significance of the environment associated with the mine," Senator Parer said."I have always

said that any new uranium mines will have to satisfy stringent environment, heritage and safeguards requirements.

"While recognising the responsible manner in which ERA operates, the requirements for Jabiluka will make sure the company operates with maximum sensitivity to the environment."

Senator Parer noted that ERA has and excellent record on environmental management at its nearby Ranger operation.

"In over 16 years of operation, the Office of the Supervising Scientist has monitored the mine's operation and has consistently reported that no significant effects on the environment have been detected. No other mine in Australia has come under stricter scrutiny."

Further Information .......................... Bob Baudino .................. 0419 438818

INTERNET: http://www.dpie.gov.au/dpie/pr/media_releases/parer/index.html

Attachment: JABILUKA FACT SHEET.

JABILUKA FACT SHEET.

Earnings from the proposed Jabiluka site, and the Ranger mine, are estimated at more than $12 billion in revenue over the next 25 years - 87 percent to remain in Australia.

A $6.2 billion increase in GDP - Jabiluka will increase Australia’s wealth by $3.8 billion over the anticipated 28 year life of the mine.

$210 million in royalties over the proposed 28 year life of the mine for the Aboriginal community - to date Aboriginal land holders have received over $42 million in royalties and rent from Ranger with an additional $87 million in royalties distributed through Commonwealth

Government agencies.

ERA will invest $70 million in capital to develop Jabiluka.

Up to 164 persons will be employed during the construction phase and 110 new permanent jobs will be available when the mine becomes fully operational. Both Ranger and Jabiluka will generate 1500 indirect jobs.

Australia currently has 30 percent of the world’s uranium deposits but less than 10 percent of world markets - Australia could almost double its share by the year 2000 if Australia opened up additional uranium reserves.

Estimates indicate Jabiluika contains about 19.5 million tonnes of ore which could provide more than 90,400 tonnes of uranium oxide - enough energy in that tonnage to generate electricity equal to 20 times

Australia’s current annual needs.

Jabiluka means Australia could become the leading world uranium oxide supplier.

Strict international safeguards are in place to prevent the military use of uranium, including legally binding agreements between Australia and buying countries.