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Australia's Government Ponders Uranium Mining in New South Wales

While there has been a ban for decades on uranium mining in New South Wales, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is considering reversing the prohibition after being contacted by Australian federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.

Three months ago Ferguson urged the new conservative governments in Victoria and New South Wales to reconsider their long-term prohibition on uranium mining and exploration because the restrictions limited developing ''knowledge of potential deposits,'' The Herald reported.

Last month the New South Wales Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher met the Australian Uranium Association chief executive Michael Angwin to discuss overturning the restrictions.

An Australian Uranium Association spokesman stated that after the meeting Angwin wrote to Hartcher ''formally asking him to make any necessary changes to permit uranium exploration and mining to take place in New South Wales.''

Though Hartcher has yet to make an official pronouncement on the issue, a government spokesman commented that Ferguson's comments “'deserved consideration,” adding that the New South Wales government was ''aware potential resources may exist around the Broken Hill area given the abundant resources just over the South Australian border'' before concluding, ''The matter remains under consideration by the minister.''

Uranium exploration and mining were prohibited in New South Wales by the 1986 the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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