Cameco Australia announced that it has received the environmental approval from the Australian Federal Department of Environment and Energy for the Yeelirrie uranium project, located in the remote Northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.


Image: Yeelirrie was originally discovered in 1972. Photo courtesy of Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay.

The federal environmental approval follows the State Government of Western Australia’s decision to approve the project in January of 2017.

Yeelirrie was originally discovered in 1972 by Western Mining Corporation (WMC) and is one of Australia’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits. WMC and BHP Billiton have extensively carried out exploration work at the site.

The deposit at Yeelirrie is located approximately 650 km northeast of Perth and approximately 750 km south of Cameco’s Kintyre project. In 2012 Cameco acquired the Yeelirrie project to become 100% owner and operator.

Cameco Australia general manager Simon Williamson said: “We welcome this decision. This has been a rigorous and extensive environmental assessment process, and we have worked with the Department over the two-year process to demonstrate how we will reduce and manage any environmental risks.”

“While we are happy to have this approval in place, current market conditions are challenging and we expect them to remain so in the near term.”

The company said that both the state and federal approvals include comprehensive conditions to ensure that people and the environment remain protected and the project is responsibly managed. Decisions to be made to advance its projects in Western Australia are subject to market conditions.

Cameco Australia, a subsidiary of Cameco , is focused on exploring uranium in Australia since 1996 and is involved in a number of projects across the country, including two of Australia’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits, Kintyre and Yeelirrie.

Cameco claims that it is one of the largest providers of uranium fuel and its competitive position is based on the ownership of reserves and low-cost operations.

In April 2015, Canadian uranium producer Cameco, along with its partner Mitsubishi, secured environmental approval for its Kintyre uranium project , in Western Australia.

Kintyre uranium project is located 60km south of Telfer and 260km northeast of Newman, at the western edge of the Great Sandy Desert in the East Pilbara region, and included an open-cut mine, treatment facilities, an airstrip, as well as an accommodation village.