Campaign to stop uranium mines in WA and protect endangered species and Aboriginal landLong term volunteer role
Uranium Free WA is a campaign run by the Conservation Council of Western Australia to fight the flurry of mine proposals since a decades old ban on uranium mining was lifted by the Newman government.
There are now approximately 140 companies with uranium interests in WA, there are three proposed mines which are engaged in the State's EPA approvals process followed closely by another two proposals which are advancing their exploration programs followed by about 80 + other uranium explorations.
Not only is uranium mining and waste management a disaster for the environment and a danger to human health, it has already resulted in further abuse of the rights of Aboriginal communities, before the mining has even begun, with the current WA Premier Colin Barnett threatening to close down remote communities (many of which are on mine sites) and gut the Aboriginal Heritage Act so that mining companies do not have to take notice of sacred and historical Aboriginal sites.
Now is the time to join the campaign to stop uranium mining in WA before it starts! There's lots of different ways to you can get involved in the campaign. Find out how to get in touch at the bottom of this page or read more about the uranium proposals below.
Wiluna uranium proposal
Toro Energy is a small inexperienced mining company leading the charge to open WA's first uranium mine.. We are calling for the EPA to re-assess the whole Toro mine project incorporating plans for four mines across two lake systems - including 6.9 million litres of water a day and generating 50 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste. The proposal is to mine four uranium deposits, Centipede, Millipede and Lake Way, on the Lake Way playa system south east of Wiluna and the Lake Maitland deposits on the Lake Maitland playa system.
The project has been cut up and assessed as two projects - allowing the company to avoid doing full assessment of cumulative impacts from what is essentially an industrial uranium precinct incorporating at least four small uranium mines across two lake systems in a fragile desert ecosystem. The company has clear plans to incorporate more regional deposits - extending the impact and risk regionally.
Kintyre uranium proposal
In March 2015 the WA Environment Minister gave conditional approval the Kintyre mine. The proposal now sits with the Federal Environment Minister. Kintyre was cut out of WA’s biggest National Park in1994. The area still has National park values - this proposal threatens an intricate desert water network and a number of endangered and vulnerable species including the rock wallaby, mulgara, marsupial mole, bilby and quoll. Uranium is uneconomic, unsafe and unwanted. The risks far outweigh any rewards.
The area includes permanent water holes, ephemeral rivers and salt lakes. This is also a significant paleodrainage channel region with the Rudall River, Yantakuji Creek, Coolbro Creek, Watrara Creek, and Rooney Creek- ephemeral creeks and rivers. This area has high levels of local endemism and is home to 257 fauna species - including a number of critically endangered, vulnerable and priority species.
Canadian company Cameco, and JV parter Mitsubishi, have an active application to mine uranium at Kintyre. They don't yet have any environmental approvals. Cameco are also the new owners of the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine.
Yeelirrie uranium proposal
The Yeelirrie uranium proposal was referred to the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in November 2014 by Canadian uranium miner Cameco. Stay tuned for future events, actions and details of this proposal and campaign. Cameco want to double the rate of production that was proposed by BHP Billiton, this means increasing water demand, increased number of trucks from Yeelirrie to Port Adelaide.
Mulga Rocks uranium proposal
The EPA has also approved the scoping study for the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine east of Kalgoorlie.
The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) is the State's foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation. We are WA's peak environment and sustainability group with over 90 member groups and have been an outspoken advocate for conservation and a sustainable WA for over 45 years.
We are working with community, government and industry towards a more sustainable future for Western Australia. With professional staff and dedicated volunteers, we work on policy development and legislative change, consultation, campaigning, submission writing, and environmental education.