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For more than a decade, mining was an economic pillar in Australia that supported jobs growth for mining engineering specialists and drove revenues higher for businesses in several sectors.
However, with the sector showing signs of slowing, state governments are beginning to step in to clear up red tape that may be keeping some mining projects from getting off the ground.
The Queensland government, for example, announced that it is focusing on rebuilding its uranium mining sector. The state’s Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps recently released a statement that outlined how Queensland hopes to improve the industry in a safe, sustainable way.
“The government has developed this implementation strategy in response to a detailed report by the Uranium Mining Implementation Committee (UMIC) which was released in March 2013,” Mr Cripps said.
“The strategy outlines the actions various state government agencies will deliver and covers all aspects of the approvals process, including environmental standards, safety and health, economic and community development, indigenous opportunities and native title.”
Mr Cripps added that some estimates put the worth of the uranium in Queensland’s land to be worth as much as $10 billion, with more than $8 billion of it found in one region in the northwest part of the state. This, he said, is clear proof that rekindling the uranium sector could lead to huge economic gains for the state.
The growth would last for as long as two decades, and would start as soon as all regulatory guidelines and protocols are put into place – likely by July 2014.
Mr Cripps stated that the strength of the sector will certainly depend on market demand, but that the government wants to be ready for anything.