Construction of the country’s fourth uranium mine, and the first new uranium project in 20 years, began on 16 June at the Jabiluka site in the Northern Territory following the NT government’s go-ahead at the beginning of the month. The mine’s owners, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), expects construction to take approximately 18 months to complete. Jabiluka has proved ore reserves of 11.5 million t at 0.46% U3O8.
A decision on where the Jabiluka ore should be processed is yet to be finalised. ERA’s preferred option is to transport ore to the existing Ranger mill which is 22 km away.
However, due to the continuing opposition by some of the Aboriginal landowners in the area, ERA has also proposed the construction of a mill at Jabiluka.