Australia exported a total of 9239t U3O8 in 2001 - an increase of nearly 6% on the 2000 figure of 8757t. The latest figures include a shipment from the country's Beverley mine on 28 December. The largest export destination was the USA (3140t), followed by Japan (3071t), then South Korea (874t), UK (683t), France (659t), Canada (210t), Sweden (204t), Belgium (176t), Germany (165t) and Finland (165t).
Meanwhile, Beverley operator Heathgate Resources has been given approval to return to 80% mining capacity following a spill of radioactive fluid at the beginning of January. A failed circuit breaker and incorrect programming were blamed for the spill, in which a plastic elbow joint ruptured.
• Voters in South Australia's forthcoming election will have the power to block nuclear waste sites in the state. The Australian Conservation Foundation is calling on South Australians to lobby the state Liberal Party to stop a low-level radioactive waste site in the far north of the state.