Australia – BHP Billiton turns up the temperature at Olympic Dam #uranium mine – Senator Scott Ludlam

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Friday 13 May 2011

BHP Billiton turns up the temperature at

uranium mine

BHP Billiton’s failure to reconsider their planned mega-expansion of Olympic Dam will be a disaster for the environment and local jobs, the Australian Greens said today.

Against a backdrop of a likely full-scale meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima plant in Japan, of which BHP Billiton is a likely uranium supplier, BHP Billiton has today released its supplementary Environmental Impact Statement on the expansion of the Roxby Downs copper/uranium mine.

“As it stands, BHP Billiton has designed a world’s-worst-practice uranium mine, when the alternative would see a lower greenhouse footprint and skilled jobs retained in South Australia,” Australian Greens spokesperson for nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam said.

“At the

in the Northern Territory, the mining company is required by law to safeguard its radioactive waste rock for not less than 10,000 years. If that’s good enough for the Territory, why is it not good enough for South Australia?”

“Instead of burying the radioactive tailings waste in a properly lined pit, BHP Billiton says it will dump more than two cubic kilometres of tailings over an area measuring up to 44sq km.”

“The new open pit proposed will leak over eight million litres of radioactive liquids every day.”

“A peer-reviewed study by

’s Dr Gavin’s Mudd has exploded the myth that uranium is central to the mine’s expansion – in fact, his alternative model for the expansion that is safer, uses much less water and energy, and means more jobs and greater economic return for the local economy,” Senator Ludlam said.

“It is now decision time for the Federal and South Australian authorities: do they want to keep exporting jobs to China while leaving South Australia with a toxic legacy?”

Media Contact:

Marion Rae
Director of Media/Senior Media Adviser
Senator Bob Brown | Leader of the Australian Greens
Suite SG-111


P: 02 6277 3577 | F: 02 6277 3185

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