18 Nov 2008

Ban on uranium mining being lifted

12:18 pm on 18 November 2008

The State government of Western Australian is to formally lift a ban on mining of uranium on Tuesday.

Premier Colin Barnett says the removal of the ban will take immediate effect.

The ABC reports any new leases will no longer contain a provision that uranium mining is not allowed.

Mr Barnett says the Government is also looking at ways to amend almost 1,500 mining leases issued since 2002 that prevent uranium from being mined.

He says Australia has the largest reserve of uranium of any country in the world and is second only to Canada as the major producer and exporter of uranium.

The Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy says the state will benefit from uranium mining for many years.

Chief executive Reg Howard-Smith says strong demand for uranium from China, India and several European countries is forecast to continue.