Critically Evaluate the Arguments for and Against Mining and Export of Uranium

8793 words 36 pages
High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland

Australian Conservation Foundation Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Electrical Trades Union Friends of the Earth North Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance The Wilderness Society

Cover picture: Mine tailings dam failure at Merriespruit, South Africa gold mine. On the day of the failure 50mm of rain fell in 30 minutes, comparable to flooding rain quantities in Qld in recent summers (source:

High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland

1. Overview 2. Overstated economic potential 3. Environmental Impacts 4. Radiation and Health 5. Uranium and Indigenous
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The mining industry has a history of fly-in fly-out contract employment, which does not necessarily bring many or lasting jobs or significant prosperity to local economies. And once the ore is extracted, the company will leave the community to manage the radioactive tailings, effectively forever. Private profit would leave the region while increased public risk and legacy would remain. Uranium mining poses a significant threat to Queensland’s unique environment and way of life. It is implausible that the limited economic benefits associated with any future uranium operations in Queensland could outweigh the diverse problems and risks associated with uranium mining detailed in this paper. The specific radioactive and fissionable characteristics of uranium make uranium mining fundamentally different from other types of mining. Uranium mining is associated with:      radiological risks to workers and the public; direct and continuing contamination threats to ground and surface waters and the environment surrounding and downstream and downwind from mine sites risks to