Marilyn and Colin: Impact from Proposed Yeelirrie Uranium Mine

I really need your help to stop the uranium mine at Yeelirrie!

I urge you to put in a submission to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) against Cameco's mine at Yeelirrie.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 14 December at 5pm.

You can put in your submission electronically by clicking on the link here

For more information on Cameco's Public Environmental Review (PER) for Yeelirrie please click here

Following on from expert industry advice, here is some of what you could put in your submission:

·         Cameco's has a poor company record with allegations of tax fraud, flawed community consultation, radioactive leaks and spills and direct links to the production of depleted uranium weapons. Do you want this company operating in WA?

·         Cameco has not presented a detailed Mine Rehabilitation Plan. Bond requirements (under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund) are now at the discretionary power of the Minister. I have concerns that the political will of the Government is to approve and establish a uranium mine here in WA. This may cause the Minister to be lenient on bonds to show support and good will to the company and the industry. There are also unique risks and extremely high costs associated with rehabilitating uranium mines. There is no example in Australia of a uranium mine site that has been successfully rehabilitated. The world’s best practice for uranium rehabilitation was estimated at Wismut in Eastern Germany at a cost of US $9.3 billion in 1962. Therefore, in the unfortunate event that the Yeelirrie mine is approved, I call on the Minister to provide for the option to require unconditional performance bonds from Cameco as an unsatisfactory or high risk operator and operations.

·         Cameco has not provided any Management Plans for the conditions outlined below that have a detrimental impact. Instead Cameco state that they will provide the following plans once the PER is approved by the EPA. This is unacceptable and should be included in the PER. Therefore, the EPA must reject the PER or at the very least insist Cameco provide management plans for the following before any proposal is even considered:  

·         Groundwater Management Plan

·         Subterranean Fauna Management Plan

·         Flora Management Plan

·         Conservation Species Management Plan

·         Fauna Management Plan

·         Surface Water Management Plan

·         Dust Management Plan

·         Mine Closure Management Plan

·         Greenhouse Gas and Energy Management Plan

·         Cultural Heritage Management Plan

·         Fire Prevention and Management Plan

·         Radiation Management Plan

·         Transport Radiation Management Plan

·         Extinction of Fauna– if the mine goes ahead 11 species of stygofauna and four species of troglofauna will be impacted by dust, water drawdown and slow moving chemical plume coming from the tailings and backfilled pits. Cameco has not identified the impact of their proposed operation on subterranean fauna, such as habitat loss and degradation, ongoing mortality, species interactions, changes in hydrology, disturbance and bioaccumulation. Therefore, the EPA must reject the PER or at the very least insist Cameco identify how their mine will impact subterranean fauna and plans to prevent this from occurring.

·         Aboriginal Heritage- disregarded and sites will be destroyed! There has been clear and united opposition to the uranium mine by the Traditional Owners. Yeelirrie is a significant place; mining at Yeelirrie would destroy a number of heritage sites. The original on ground assessment carried out in 1978 identified 42 registered sites of which 35 contained evidence of Aboriginal habitation. These 35 sites should have been identified in the PER as they still fall within the classifications contained within section 5 or 6 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. Therefore, the EPA must reject the PER due to the destruction of the sites that will occur if mining was to commence or at the very least, ensure a full reassessment by (the consultants and evaluated by the ACMC) (DAA)of the sites in the area.

I am hoping that the EPA will take note if they receive a large volume of submissions.

I really need your support and the pastoralists on the land need your support.

Marilyn and Colin have been pastoralists for 27 years on Youno Downs which is near the proposed mine site, and believe that the groundwater used by Cameco in one year is more than they would use in a lifeftime. You can view the story of Marilyn and Colin and how their land will be impacted by uranium mining at Yeelirrie here.

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