Cameco gets approval for its Australian Kintyre uranium mine

Cameco gets approval for its Australian Kintyre uranium mineCanada’s Cameco (TSX:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ), the world's third-biggest uranium producer, scored big Thursday after Western Australia’s authorities granted the company conditional environmental approval to develop the remote Kintyre uranium deposit.

After more than four years of consultation and environmental studies, Cameco Australia and its joint venture partner Mitsubishi Development, are closer than ever to develop the mine, located in the remote east Pilbara region, near Karlamilyi National Park.

"We are confident the Kintyre project can be constructed, operated and closed in a way which maintains the ecological functions and environmental values in the area and will ensure all regulatory conditions are met," Cameco Australia managing director Brian Reilly said.

The fate of the project is now in the hands of the country’s federal environment minister, Greg Hunt.

More than 2,500 public submissions were received during the review period, and 17 appeals submitted against the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) recommendations to approve the mine.

The project has an expected mine life of about 13.5 years and includes the construction of mineral processing facilities, offices, accommodation and the discharge of waste.

It also includes the upgrade and construction of 90km of access road for the transportation of uranium oxide concentrate to the WA-South Australian border on route to the Port of Adelaide.

Cameco has been exploring for uranium in Australia since 1996. The firm is also involved in the proposed Yeelirrie project, WA’s biggest uranium project, which it bought from BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) for $430m in 2012.

Image courtesy of Cameco.