An application has been lodged to develop the Four Mile uranium deposit in South Australia, The Age reports.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann said a mine at Four Mile would not rival the Olympic Dam (polymetallic) ore body in size, but the grade of uranium ore was up to 10 times better.
"The Four Mile deposit, which was discovered just back in 2005, is considered one of the most significant uranium discoveries anywhere in the world in the last 25 years — the biggest find since Olympic Dam," he said.
A huge increase in Australia's uranium exports is expected in coming decades if the world accepts greenhouse gas reduction targets endorsed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Under conservative emission targets, Australia by 2030 could be selling almost three times more uranium than now, with the number of nuclear power reactors worldwide growing from 439 to 960.
The mine at Four Mile would be about 10 kilometres north-west of the Beverley mine and use the same processing facilities. It is planned to be working by 2010 and employ 200 people.
Uranium exploration has boomed in the past year, driven by higher world prices and federal Labor's decision in April last year to abolish its three-mine policy.
The Queensland and West Australian governments have retained a ban on uranium exploration.
A fourth Australian mine, Honeymoon in South Australia, is expected to start production this year and there are plans to expand the existing Olympic Dam and Ranger uranium production operations.
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