Action Against Uranium Approval

November 22, 2001

National Environment Group Friends of the Earth (FoE) has condemned the approval of the Honeymoon uranium mine and has vowed to continue opposition to the project. The controversial project was given environmental approval by Federal Minister Robert Hill on Wednesday. FoE has attacked the assessment process that has kept key information on radioactive contamination of groundwater out of the public realm.

"The approval is outrageous, radioactive waste disposal to groundwater is a fundamentally unacceptable impact on the environment" said Bruce Thompson.

The Honeymoon project, in north-east South Australia, uses the insitu leach (ISL) method which involves pumping sulphuric acid into groundwater to dissolve uranium. Liquid is then pumped to the surface to be processed with radioactive wastes and heavy metals pumped back into groundwater.

Neither the company, Canadian owned Southern Cross Resources, nor the Federal government has released any data to prove claims that waste re-injection into groundwater is safe. The company failed to provide any detailed work in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Concerns over contamination of ground water have been a key issue for environmentalists.

"This is yet another step in the Liberal Government's pro-nuclear push, a step they didn't have the courage to announce before the election" Loretta O'Brien.

The Federal ALP announced that they would block the Honeymoon mine and any further uranium developments if they gained power. Nuclear issues were a key plank of ALP environment policy, reflecting the strong community opposition to the industry.

"We will continue our fight to stop this project - it's the wrong type of mine in the wrong era" concluded Bruce Thompson

The honeymoon project was stopped in 1982 due to community pressure

For more information contact:

Bruce Thompson
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob:0417 318 368

Loretta O'Brien
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob: 0407 996 630