• Cameco Australia wants to open a uranium mine in the Mid West region of Western Australia. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
After unsuccessfully challenging the environmental approval for a WA uranium mine, Traditional Owners are continuing their legal fight.
Rangi Hirini

6 Mar 2019 - 1:00 PM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2019 - 1:00 PM

Traditional Owners and the Conservation Council of Western Australia are continuing their fight against a proposed uranium mine, fearing unique subterranean fauna in the project area will be made extinct if it proceeds.

Former state environment minister Albert Jacob gave the green light to Cameco's Yeelirrie mine proposal in January 2017, just 16 days before the pre-election caretaker mode began.

Together with members of the Tjiwarl native title group, CCWA challenged the approval in the Supreme Court but lost, and have now taken their battle to the Court of Appeal.

“We don’t want the mining company to start mining uranium on our country,” Tjiwarl woman Vicky Abdullah told NITV News.

“Just don’t give them the answer to mine on our country. Australia is a beautiful country; just leave it as it is.”

CCWA director Piers Verstegen said the previous government was desperate to lock-in a uranium project before it lost power, going against the advice of the Environmental Protection Authority, which was concerned about the impact of mining on subterranean fauna.

"Stygofauna might be a relatively obscure species. In fact, these particular species of stygofauna were not known to science until the proponent started exploring for uranium in that area," Mr Verstegen said.

"But the legal precedent here has much broader implications.

"We're certainly very keen to be upholding environmental laws ... which were never intended to be used by a minister or a government to approve the extinction of species."

The matter was heard on Tuesday and a decision will be handed down at a later date.

With AAP 

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