Adjournment bodes well for Four Mile

06 December 2011

Litigation concerning the native title mining agreement for the Four Mile uranium project in South Australia looks to have been settled, removing a major barrier to the issue of a mining lease for the property.

Four Mile (Quasar)
Drilling at Four Mile (Image: Quasar)

An announcement by Alliance Resources notes that the litigation before the South Australian Supreme Court has been adjourned "while the parties take steps to satisfy conditions precedent in accordance with a settlement between the parties." Those conditions include the registration of a native title mining agreement, without which a mining lease cannot be granted. The terms of the settlement are otherwise confidential.

Native title is the recognition by Australian law that some indigenous people have rights and interests to their land that come from their traditional laws and customs, and a native title mining agreement therefore sets out terms and conditions covering mining on Aboriginal lands.

Alliance holds 25% of the Four Mile project, which has total indicated and inferred resources of 32,000 tonnes U3O8 (27,000 tU) at an average ore grade of 0.33%. The project is managed by Quasar Resources, the registered holder of the remaining 75%. The start of production from the in-situ leach project had been stymied by legal disputes between Alliance, Quasar and Quasar's affiliate Heathgate Resources, operator of the nearby Beverley mine.

Alliance issued proceedings against Quasar and Heathgate over alleged breaches in the native title agreement process in November 2009. The company instituted further legal proceedings with Australia's federal court in 2010 over alleged failure to disclose information related to exploration of the Four Mile project. Those proceedings are still ongoing.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News


Filed under: Mine licensing, Australia