BHP, Toro Energy progress on uranium projects in WA

26 May 2009 | 04:44 Code : 19194 Geoscience events
Western Australia is moving closer to its first uranium mines, with junior explorer...

Western Australia is moving closer to its first uranium mines, with junior explorer Toro Energy Ltd and BHP Billiton Ltd making progress on their respective projects in the state.Toro Energy announced on Friday it had started surveying its Lake Mackay project, which has not yet been explored, to the west of Alice Springs on the WA/Northern Territory border.The results of samples will be used to target drilling scheduled for July/August.Toro has another, more advanced uranium project in WA, Lake Way/Centipede near Wiluna in the state’s mid west region, which it hopes will be in production in 2012/13 along with its Napperby project in the NT.Shares in Toro put on half a cent, or 2.44 per cent, to 21 cents.Separately, BHP Billiton submitted documents to the federal environment department for its Yeelirrie uranium project, also near Wiluna, on Thursday.The documents are open for public comment.The mining giant told a conference on May 7 it had been liaising with the WA government to determine a framework for approving the Yeelirrie project.BHP Billiton hopes it will be the state’s first uranium mine, with first production slated for 2014.Another uranium project expected to be developed quickly is Kintyre in WA’s east Pilbara region.Canada’s Cameco and Japan’s Mitsubishi acquired Kintyre from Rio Tinto Ltd for $US495 million ($A634.3 million) in July.The WA Liberal government last year lifted a six-year ban on uranium mining imposed by the previous Labor government.

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