Toro Energy Limited (ASX:TOE) has been advised by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that the EPA is recommending approval for its Wiluna Uranium Project in Western Australia to proceed.
The EPA has presented a report and recommendations to WA's Minister for Environment.
The EPA decision is now open to public appeal for a two week period.
"This is an important milestone for Toro and for the Western Australian uranium industry," Toro's Managing Director, Mr Greg Hall, said today.
"While the Toro team members have significant experience within other uranium and mining operations, Wiluna is Toro's first project and the first uranium project to receive a positive EPA recommendation in Western Australia since the change of Government in 2008," Mr Hall said.
"Toro is confident that its extensive technical and environmental study work and the rigorous assessment undertaken by the EPA will ensure a safe and sustainable mining operation at Wiluna.
"The Wiluna project is one of the few in the world potentially capable of commencing production in the critical 2014/15 period when the nuclear industry will be seeking additional supplies."
The project was referred for assessment to the Western Australian and Federal Governments in October 2009.
An Environmental Review and Management Programme for the project was exhibited for public consultation over a 14 week period from July 2011.
During that time, 48 submissions were made to the EPA. Toro has provided comprehensive responses to all submissions to enable the EPA to finalise its assessment. The Response to Submissions document is available on the EPA website with the EPA report, as well as on Toro's website.
Toro awaits the decision of the WA State Environment Minister following review of any appeals that are raised.
A Federal Government decision on its assessment of the project is anticipated after the Western Australian process is finalised. Toro's Board will then target a final investment decision on the project by the end of 2012, subject to final market and economic considerations.
PRESS / MEDIA BACKGROUNDER
Toro Energy is a modern Australian uranium company with a progressive development, exploration, acquisition and growth strategy.
It is active in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Namibia.
The Company is based in Adelaide with a project office in Perth.
Toro's flagship and wholly owned Wiluna Uranium Project is approximately 520 km north of Kalgoorlie in central Western Australia. It comprises uranium in two deposits, Centipede and Lake Way. The Centipede deposit would be mined first.
Key project characteristics:
Life of mine
- 14 years (includes construction, operations and closure)
- Open pit using surface miners and heavy machinery
- depth Up to 15 metres
Estimated Project ground disturbance
- Approximately 1,530 hectares
Major Project Infrastructure
- Processing Plant; Water supply borefield; gas pipeline for on-site gas powered energy; haul road linking Lake Way deposit to processing plant; accommodation village
- Up to 1,200 tonnes uranium oxide concentrate
- By road via Goldfields Highway and other existing roads to Adelaide and by rail between Adelaide and Darwin - (approx four to five conventional ship containers per month)
- Up to 350 during 12 month construction phase Up to 170 during operational phase
- Continuous rehabilitation during operational phase with tailings deposited below ground in mined out pits, open pits backfilled, and land revegetated and re-contoured to blend with local terrain