7 Sep 2005

Australian company undeterred in Niue uranium search

3:36 pm on 7 September 2005

An Australian mining company, Yamarna Goldfields Limited, is continuing to explore for uranium on Niue despite a report that there's only a slight possibility of locating an exploitable, commericially viable deposit.

Its executive director, Richard Revelins, says the company is trying to determine whether the 26-year-old report holds more weight than geological modelling that had confirmed the potential for a large deposit.

Mr Revelins says Yarmana's partner in the venture, Avian Mining, which has been doing sampling work on Niue since the 1960s, has known about the report for quite some time and disagrees with its findings.

There are health and environmental safety concerns in Niue over the prospect of uranium mining.

Uranium is a radioactive material with nuclear weapons potential, and Niue's Health Minister has questioned whether Niue should go against New Zealand's nuclear-free policy.