The Queensland State Government in Australia has revealed a new framework to restart uranium mining in the region after lifting its 32-year ban.
The framework is part of Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's 'The Queensland Plan: Queenslanders' 30-year vision' to create job opportunities in the region.
Under the new framework, the government will soon start taking applications from companies seeking to mine uranium in the state.
Uranium mining was banned in Queensland in 1983; exploration of mines was allowed but restrictions were placed on development and production.
The decision to allow uranium mining in the state was announced in October 2012.
The government now plans to re-open the abandoned Mary Kathleen Mine, which has remained closed since 1982.
However, the mineral will not be exported from any of the state's ports. Instead, it will be transported through the existing ports in Darwin and South Australia, the government said.
Uranium will be exported only to those countries that have signed a bilateral safeguard agreement with Australia.
Mines Minister Andrew Cripps was quoted by The Courier Mail as saying: "More jobs are now being created in Queensland than in any other state and the return of uranium mining will help ensure we remain Australia's jobs powerhouse for the long-term.
"The uranium industry has the potential to create a large number of construction and operational jobs."
Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche said: "Queensland has the minerals and energy commodities the world needs but that does not mean we can wait for customers to beat a path to our door.
"To maximise Queensland's opportunities, our world-class natural endowments must be complemented by new investment and innovation to ensure our resources sector remains globally competitive."
Image: The Queensland Government plans to re-open the abandoned Mary Kathleen Mine. Photo: courtesy of Geomartin.