SYDNEY, June 22 (Xinhua) -- A nuclear debate is heating up in Western Australia on Thursday, after the state government informed three uranium mining companies that their approval licenses will expire if their sites are not operational within five years.
The newly formed State Government's clarification on its policy has followed on from an election promise to ban uranium mining in the State for environmental concerns.
But prior to their victory in the vote, under the former State Government, three companies at four separate sites were given the go ahead to develop projects.
Vulnerable to legal action from the operators, the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, on Wednesday told local media, "everyone knows our position is we are not very happy about these approvals, so the mining companies need to be aware that they have a potential deadline heading at them in five years from now."
"Bear in mind five years is a long time, I mean they've already had eight years of getting a project approved and another five years to develop it, that's a pretty reasonable length of time for them to get a project up," McGowan said.
"If they can't do that, then that's not our problem, that's their problem."
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