The tentative findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission vindicate expansion of the uranium exploration and mining industry throughout Australia,” according to Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Simon Bennison.

“The robust independent review found that South Australia can safely increase its participation in nuclear activities which would improve the economic welfare of the South Australian community.

“AMEC’s submission to the inquiry was made on an Australia wide basis recognising that uranium deposits are not confined to South Australia.

“Unfortunately government public policy positions on exploration and mining of uranium vary throughout Australia. This creates significant uncertainty for business and investment decisions, particularly overseas investors,” said Simon Bennison.

The review found that bipartisan support at both state and federal government levels would be a prerequisite to achieving progress.

“Exploration and mining of uranium is currently supported by the Federal Government, and the governments of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia. However, these policy positions can change through election cycles,” said Simon Bennison.

The review also found that mineral exploration activities are most commonly undertaken by remote geophysical methods and pose low environmental risks and the current administrative and regulatory processes around drilling are sufficient to manage the environmental and other risks.

“Early implementation of the ‘one stop shop’ environmental assessment and approval process would also be beneficial in reducing delays and costs to industry.

“AMEC also recommended the development of a national public education and awareness strategy which was also noted in the review findings.

“Much more can be done to secure economic benefits for all Australians from uranium exploration and mining in a safe and viable way, develop the mines of tomorrow and deliver a low emission energy alternative.

“AMEC will continue to work with the commission as it completes its final report for release in May 2016,” said Simon Bennison.

AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia.

The tentative findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission can be downloaded here.

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