Latest estimates put Queensland’s untapped uranium deposits at about $10 billion in value, a House of Representatives inquiry has heard.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane told the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia that Queensland uranium could be mined sustainability and economically.
“Queensland is literally sitting on billions of dollars of value to our local communities and our economy. But the ban on uranium mining prevents us from reaping the benefit of regional jobs, investment and royalty taxes,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Queensland’s uranium reserves are not only a valuable export, but they also have a role to play in delivering reliable and low-emissions power.
“Both the BP Energy Outlook 2019 and the International Energy Agency recognise that nuclear energy has a role to play in making significant reductions to global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Under the advanced emissions reductions scenarios modelling in both reports, nuclear energy use will grow between 2.3 per cent to 7 per cent each year through to 2040.
“Even accounting for less aggressive emissions reductions models, nuclear energy will be an important option for countries that want to ensure reliable, low-emissions power in the decades ahead.”
Uranium mining would boost job growth and support the State’s North West Minerals Province, he said.
“An increase in uranium exploration or development will increase the state of knowledge of Queensland’s resource endowment,” he said.
“This may well lead to the discovery of important new deposits of uranium as well as other elements and resources.”
Mr Macfarlane said it was sensible for the parliamentary review to look at the long-term options for uranium exports, and in the longer-term, nuclear energy generation.