Back from Asia, Colombia and parts in between. And the news is coming fast around the resource universe.
Like in the uranium sector. Where one of the world’s key producing nations has become a little more unfriendly this week — at least in certain parts.
That place is Australia — the world’s third-largest uranium producer. Where the government of the northeastern state of Queensland said that it will re-impose a ban on uranium mining, shutting off development here.
Queensland has in fact long been a hold-out in Australia when it comes to uranium. With the state banning uranium mining in 1982 — a moratorium that largely held up for three decades.
Uranium miners got some hope however, in 2012 — when the then-ruling Liberal party overturned the mining ban, with the aim of creating new jobs in the state.
But regulation has now changed again in Queensland. With a Labour party government having taken power in early February — and quickly getting down to business in re-vamping uranium policy.
The new Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, announced over the weekend that a prohibition on uranium mining across Queensland will once again be put into place. Shutting the door for the development of new projects here.
The government said that it will continue to allow exploration activities for uranium.
The move is certainly a setback for number of notable uranium projects in Queensland. Such as the Valhalla project owned by Paladin Resources, and the Westmoreland deposit being advanced by Laramide Resources.
Both of these deposits have the potential to be significant mines. But both will now have to wait — as will their owners.
The news also underscores a key point in the uranium sector — this is a sensitive and often-controversial metal. Meaning that regulatory and social dynamics are a critical factor to consider when assessing any new project.