Australian government to block uranium mine

1 June 2005

Kon Vatskalis, mines and energy minister for the Australian Northern Territories state has reportedly said that the government will block any attempts to open a second uranium mine in Kakadu.

The comments follow moves by Areva to open negotiations with the traditional owners of the site regarding the future of the Koongarra uranium deposit.

The decision not to grant a mining lease is apparently based on the proximity of the deposit to the Nourlangie Rock, a popular tourist destination.

The Koongarra deposit, 250km southeast of Darwin, is believed to contain up to 14,000 tonnes of uranium. A five-year moratorium on negotiations over mining at Koongarra expired last month.

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