Many a slip twixt Toro’s plan and uranium mining at Wiluna in Western Australia
the mine cannot make money at current low uranium prices and the company, valued at only $86.5 million, did not have the financial capacity to clean up the mine if it was unprofitable
“If Toro falls over at Wiluna, who cleans it up? It either doesn’t get cleaned up, which is unacceptable, or it gets cleaned up at public expense,” Mr Sweeney said
Green protests at Toro HQ over mine approval Rhianna King, Nick Evans and AAP, The West Australian
October 11, 2012, A group of about 25 protesters marched outside the West Perth offices of Toro Energy this morning to express their anger over the approval of WA’s first uranium mine.
Environmentalists and trade unionists walked from Toro’s headquarters to Parliament House, chanting ‘Toxic Toro, you’ve got to go.’ Conservation Council of WA Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said green groups would not give up until the State Government’s decision was overturned.
“This proposal has no complete mine closure plan or costings, it will run out of water in seven years and no alternatives have been evaluated, scientists are still naming a new plant species found near the mine site, and Toro are yet to finalise their transport management plan,” she said.
“This is not a credible plan. It is a half-baked, half-assessed shambles driven by a political agenda and is not based on good science or evidence.
“This irresponsible and premature approval is out of step with both
clear government commitments and community opinion. We will continue
to use every means at our disposal to oppose this plan.”
The Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA said it would fight in court the approval granted by WA Environment Minister Bill Marmion yesterday.
ANAWA spokesman Marcus Atkinson labelled Toro “a small, inexperienced
company with no proven track record” and the uranium sector “a dying
industry which is unsafe, unwanted and unnecessary”.
“Even with this state approval, Toro Energy’s uranium mine is far from
a done deal,” Mr Atkinson said.
“ANAWA is determined to do everything possible to thwart Toro’s plans,
including a legal challenge.”The company still needs Federal
Environment Minister Tony Burke’s nod as well as a sign-off from the
Department of Mines and Petroleum for its mine and to transport 820
tonnes of uranium oxide to South Australia for export.
Premier Colin Barnett has been a strong supporter of the uranium
industry since winning power in 2008 and lifted a mining ban by the
previous Labor government.
Although it is the first uranium project to win environmental approval
from the WA Government, Mr Marmion played down the significance of his
decision, saying it was “just like another approval”.
Green groups promised Toro a tough fight, saying the mine cannot make money at current low uranium prices and the company, valued at only $86.5 million, did not have the financial capacity to clean up the mine if it was unprofitable
Toro is yet to finalise funding for the mine, which will cost about
$280 million to build, but has long said it would seek a bigger
partner to help the project.
Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear-free campaigner Dave
Sweeney said bigger companies such as Canada’s Cameco had shelved
other local uranium projects because of “challenging economic
“If Toro falls over at Wiluna, who cleans it up? It either doesn’t get cleaned up, which is unacceptable, or it gets cleaned up at public expense,” Mr Sweeney said…..
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