Toro Energy, potentially Western Australia's first uranium miner, is now looking for joint partners to push through its planned uranium mine project in Wiluna town in the northern Goldfields.
Toro Energy, which is out to construct the first ever uranium mine in Western Australia, has delayed to the back burner the financing negotiations over the proposed mine project in Wiluna pending the approval and release of the federal government's environmental decision.
To enable this, it might need to secure supply agreements with potential overseas partners involved in the nuclear fuel cycle.
On Monday, despite massive protests from varied sectors, Toro Energy finally received from the federal government the highly-sought environmental clearance for the $269-million Wiluna uranium project, albeit subject to 36 conditions.
The issuance of the regulatory documents and approvals will now assist "our negotiating capacity as well as advance commercial financing arrangements and product off-take agreements with potential partners," Vanessa Guthrie, Toro managing director, said.
"It also provides a clear pathway to complete detailed engineering design, infrastructure and cost estimates for Wiluna," she said. "This work has been on hold since the federal minister initially deferred his decision on the project in November last year and then initiated a second deferral in December."
In November, Toro Energy delayed to the back burner the financing negotiations over the proposed mine project in Wiluna pending the approval and release of the federal government's environmental decision.
Pending on financing and marketing arrangements, Wiluna, an open pit type uranium mine, could be in production by end 2015, Ms Guthrie said.
The Wiluna uranium project will become WA's first after a five-year ban was lifted that constricted uranium mining in the area. Overall, it will become Australia's sixth operating uranium mine. It has two uranium resource deposits and has an expected life span of 14 years.
Toro Energy would process annually 1.3 million tonnes of ore from Wiluna in order to churn out 820 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate.
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