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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Jabiluka Milling Alternative to be Examined


29 April 1998
(44/98)

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has decided an environmental assessment will be conducted on a possible alternative milling site for the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine.

The Jabiluka mine and the milling of ore at the existing Ranger mine site was last year given an environmental clearance after a comprehensive assessment through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This approval was subject to more than 70 strict conditions.

The new assessment of the alternative milling option does not affect the approvals already given under the 1997 EIS in relation to operation of the Jabiluka mine and the milling of ore at Ranger.

There is no environmental impediment to these operations commencing subject to the strict environmental conditions specified.

The mine proponents, Energy Resources Australia Ltd (ERA), are now however considering an alternative option of milling the uranium on-site at Jabiluka.

Senator Hill has determined that a Public Environment Report is required for the on-site milling option.

It is expected that information contained in the previous Jabiluka EIS should be sufficient to address a number of areas of the on-site milling proposal, and that these issues need not be re-examined in the PER.

The PER will address environmental issues associated with the alternative milling option. It will be released for public comment for a period of four weeks.

A decision on whether the alternative milling proposal is acceptable will not be made until completion of the PER process.

Media contact - Matt Brown on 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515

April 29, 1998
44/98

Commonwealth of Australia