So it will be interesting to see if Federal and State Governments give approval to a bid by the Canadian corporation Cameco to mine uranium at its Kintyre uranium deposit near Telfer in WA's Pilbara. If approved, Cameco plans to truck as much as 3600 tonnes of uranium oxide annually from Kintyre, near Telfer, in the Pilbara, to a planned hub near Kalgoorlie.
The corporation plans to truck uranium oxide down unsealed gravel roads between the remote Goldfields towns of Wiluna and Meekatharra. which would mean passing through small towns such as Telfer, Newman, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Leonora, and possibly Kalgoorlie
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has slammed provocative plans by Canadian uranium mining company Cameco to truck uranium through several WA cities and towns.
The Cameco planned course will see up to 3,600 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate from the Kintyre project trucked past Port Headland and though Newman, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Leonora and a number of other towns en route to the proposed Parkeston travel hub outside Kalgoorlie each year. If the hub is not completed by 2013, the uranium will be transported though Kalgoorlie itself.
“There are a significant number of freight truck accidents in Western Australia each year, but that’s just part of the concern. This is a project that goes wrong at every turn, planned by a company with an appalling history,” said Senator Ludlam.
“The mine itself is proposed for a site right next to Rudall River, alongside the Karlamilyi National Park. The site of the uranium deposit was originally part of the park and was excised in 1994, so as you can imagine it is a pristine natural area and it has environmentally sensitive wetlands in the vicinity,” said Senator Ludlam.
“Especially given the sordid and sorry history of uranium mining in Australia contaminating ground water and wetlands, this is one of the worst possible sites for a uranium mine.”
It is estimated 2,500 to 3,600 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate will be trucked through the state each year by Cameco. The company says it will send between 55 and 70 truck convoys a year along the estimated 2000km route.
“The residents along this uranium trail will no doubt be very concerned,” said Senator Ludlam. “They have the right to say no to Cameco’s plan to transport radioactive material through their neighbourhoods.”