Uranium mining in SA
Uranium is a significant part of South Australia’s mineral resource. South Australia alone has 80% of Australia’s and 25% of the worlds uranium resources, with the majority of this resource located in the world class Olympic Dam mine. The Olympic Dam mine employs over 3,000 people and is one of South Australia's major employers and contributor to government revenues.
SA's uranium resources are located in two distinct ore bodies of hard rock Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold plus Uranium (IOCG+U) deposits such as Olympic Dam and sandstone hosted deposits such as Beverley, Four Mile and Honeymoon mines. Together with employing thousands, the uranium industry in the state has contributed millions in royalties to South Australia, together with providing a myriad of opportunities and benefits for businesses and regional people.
BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill accepts a Premier's Community Excellence Award for Supporting Communities, on behalf of BHP Billiton, from Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis MP (April 2016)
South Australian uranium is solely used as the fuel source for nuclear power plants. This uranium is transported via the ports of Adelaide and Darwin to the United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and potentially India and the United Arab Emirates. There have been over 10,000 shipments of uranium from SA to date, with no effects to the public or the environment.
Uranium has contributed more than $6.5 billion in export revenue to the Australian economy and with the nuclear expansion underway in Asia there is more opportunity to export to these northern neighbours. For example, China has 24 reactors under construction and a further 35 planned. The uranium used in these nuclear power plants provides plentiful clean electricity to power the great economies of the world. Nuclear, along with other electricity sources, is recommended to limit global emissions by the global authority on climate change.