Australia-based uranium company Toro Energy has secured the federal approval for its 100% owned $281m-Wiluna uranium project in Western Australia.
Reacting to the approval, Toro Energy managing director Dr Vanessa Guthrie remarked that Wiluna is the first new uranium project to acquire the federal and state approvals.
"Completion of the environmental approvals delivers Toro the regulatory certainty needed to fully underpin our negotiating capacity and to now advance commercial financing arrangements and product off-take agreements with potential partners.
"Subject to successful finalisation of financing and marketing arrangements and our design and cost work, Toro anticipates first production from the Wiluna mine by the end of 2015," added Guthrie.
The approval from the Federal Department for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities follows a series of delays following a nod from state government in October 2012.
However, it added that the federal assessment processes that lasted three and half years demonstrated that all the environmental impacts can be managed safely and sustainably.
The company said that it will now seek the financing and final project investments from its board members.
The mine with a life of 14 years comprises two deposits – Lake Way and Centipede processing 1.3 million tonnes per annum and it produces nearly 780 tons of uranium oxide concentrate.
"Wiluna is one of the few projects in the world capable of bringing new uranium production to the market in the medium term, when a shortfall is predicted from 2015 onwards," Guthrie noted.