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The Hon. Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

World's best environmental practice for new mine

Media Release
14 July 2009
PG/309

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Highlighting the Australian Government's commitment to world best practice environmental standards, a uranium mine in South Australia has been approved subject to strict approval conditions which will ensure no credible risk to the environment.

The environment minister, Peter Garrett, said approving the Four Mile uranium mine was a difficult decision to make and came after a rigorous and comprehensive assessment.

"I have not taken this decision lightly. As with all proposals examined under national environment law, this mine was subject to a comprehensive, scientifically robust and transparent assessment process," Mr Garrett said.

"Following this thorough assessment and careful consideration, I am certain this operation poses no credible risk to the environment."

The proposal for the Four Mile mine in South Australia, which will be located near the existing Beverley mine, was also subjected to two independent reviews. Both reviews concluded the mining operation could go ahead without any significant lasting impact on the identified environmental values of the area and that the proposal represents world best practice in uranium mining.

In approving the mine, Minister Garrett has imposed a number of stringent conditions including a rigorous monitoring regime. This will demonstrate the agreed environmental outcomes are being met by the mine operators.

These strict monitoring requirements will remain in place well after the mine ceases its operation in order to ensure the long term protection of the environment.

Processing waste disposal from the new mine will occur at the site of the existing Beverley mine.

"The Government is committed to world best practice environmental standards in uranium mining and in protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations," Minister Garrett said.

Commonwealth of Australia