Cogema Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Areva, is apparently hoping to resume uranium mining in the world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The company holds rights to the Koongarra deposit in Kakadu, 250 km east of Darwin, and would possibly resume production once a five-year ban imposed by the land's traditional Aboriginal owners ends in April.
"When the moratorium finishes in late April we will go into the process, as we normally would, and discuss the matter. We will apply for the access again," Cogema Australia general manager Stephen Mann reportedly said. Cogema has attempted to gain access to the deposit before and has been blocked by traditional owners but the Northern Land Council, which represents Aboriginal owners, said it would speak to Areva and did not want to pre-empt the results of any discussions. A decision is unlikely to be reached until late this year.
Koongarra deposit, discovered in 1971, contains around 14,000 tonnes of uranium oxide worth millions of dollars.