12 Apr 2012
NSW lifts ban on uranium exploration - but uranium mining is still banned
The Bill to overturn NSW's ban on uranium exploration has been passed – but the ban on uranium mining remains.
With the passage of the Mining Legislation Amendment (Uranium Exploration) Bill 2012 through Parliament on 28 March, New South Wales' ban on exploration activities for uranium will be lifted as soon as this new legislation commences operation. The Bill also vests all uranium deposits in NSW in the Crown.
We looked at the detail of the Uranium Exploration Bill when it was first introduced (no changes were made to it by Parliament on its way through both Houses).
As we said before, the change is driven to a large part by the fact that not enough is known about the nature, extent and location of uranium deposits in NSW, so more exploration work is necessary to prove up resources. The passage of the Bill allows mining explorers to apply to the Minister for a uranium exploration licence.
Whether this will lead to uranium mining is another question, although there have been some tantalising hints dropped by the NSW State Government that it might propose the removal of the ban on uranium mining if commercially viable uranium deposits are found.
Watch this space.
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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.