Following Australian PM Julia Gillard's recent visit to India, which focused among others cooperation on civil nuclear energy, the country's state government of Queensland is now mulling to lift its self-imposed uranium ban in anticipation of a potential mining boom of the resource commodity.
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.
A report by Brisbane Times said Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is currently huddled with other legislative leaders on Monday morning, discussing and paving the way for a potential review of the state's uranium ban policy.
Although Mr Newman had said in November 2011 that his government will not approve the development of uranium mines, pressure had been mounting especially since Ms Gillard's visit solidified Australia's agreement to sell uranium to energy-starved India.
Australian Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, in June this year, had called on Queensland government to lift its mining ban.
"The Australian government urges Queensland to take the next step and to also remove its ban on uranium mining, given that it already permits exploration and has an estimated resource base of at least 37,000 tonnes," Mr Ferguson had said during the AusIMM International Uranium Conference in June.
"Our position hasn't changed, we have no plans to mine uranium," Mr Newman said in June, as he remained adamant not to allow uranium mining in Queensland.
But today's meeting behind chambers might just overrule that promise as Mr Newman is expected to issue an announcement about this moving policy around midday.
"This could be the start of another resources boom in Queensland," Tony McGrady, Mt Isa mayor and former Queensland Labor mines minister, told Brisbane Times.
"The world is hungry for uranium. Queensland has it. Let's sell it."
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