In a bid to boost the state economy, New South Wales Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said on Saturday that NSW is open to uranium exploration. Besides announcing the state policy, Mr Hartcher moved one step ahead by seeking expressions of interest in licences.
Toro Energy Limited and its highly-contested Wiluna uranium mine project in the Mid-West region has received an environmental clearance from the Western Australia state government.
In March, NSW repealed its 26-year prohibition on uranium exploration despite opposition from Green and Labor MPs who insisted the O'Farrell government had no mandate to repeal the ban. The legislation repealing the bank passed in the NSW upper house with no amendments.
In supporting the repeal, NSW Premier Barry O"Farrell said the state should profit from the potential revenue that uranium mining could yield.
Mr Hartcher said companies interested have until Nov 13 to submit their expressions of interest. The expressions must be limited to areas of about 300 square kilometers or less, but there is no limit on the number of separate applications to be filed.
South Australia was close to becoming a major uranium mining centre, but BHP Billiton shelved its $30-billion Olympic Dam expansion due to the current unfavourable business environment.
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