The resumption of uranium mining in Queensland could potentially earn for the state some $78 billion, Jeff Seeney, Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister, said on Thursday.
In October, the Queensland state government lifted the 30-year uranium mining ban in support to the Australian Prime Minister's desire to sell uranium to India. It immediately created a committee chaired by Paul Bell, Central Queensland Councilor, to oversee the resumption, which has been said could take more than a year.
Mr Seeney, in a conference in Brisbane, said there are currently 35 significant projects being assessed by the state government, which could contribute to the local economy's coffers by as much as $78 billion as well as generate some 40,000 jobs.
"We expect uranium exports to become a strong export earner in the next two decades, significantly adding new jobs in rural and regional areas," he said.
Campbell Newman, Queensland state's premier, although a staunch supporter of the state's no uranium mining policy, was forced to rethink his programs in the light of Australia's trading relations with India, one of many nations needing the uranium yellowcake for nuclear energy.
"With the Prime Minister's stand on uranium exports to India, there is no earthly reason why Queenslanders should miss out on the economic opportunities and the jobs from uranium mining in this state," Mr. Newman had said in October.
Queensland has 80 uranium mine potential sites valued at $18 billion. Most are in the north-west.