NO Mines Australia

Oppose Mindless Mining in Australia or Anywhere

Arkaroola Uranium

on March 22, 2008

So, what’s a No Brainium ?

Wrecking Arkaroola for Uranium !

Arkaroola is a privately-owned Wilderness Sanctuary in the northern Flinders Ranges and one of the icons of tourism in this State.
It has a fragile eco-system and has been central to the successful program for saving the yellow-footed rock wallaby from extinction.
It is part of the traditional lands of the Adnyamathana people.
It is situated in the vicinity of the Paralana Fault Line and is subject to regular seismic activity.
Local company Marathon Resources is the latest holder of an exploration licence to drill in the Sanctuary. Marathon has violated the terms of the license at three sites, Mt Gee, Mt Gee West and Hodgkinsons, and they are held responsible by PIRSA for damaging a unique fluorite occurrence at Mount Gee which they had been told to avoid in their drilling.
Early reports of up to one hundred bags of waste dumped at Mt Gee revealed a staggering 22,800 plastic and calico bags in two shallow 30-metre long pits.
Yet all that has happened is that at the end of their drilling program, when they were already decommissioning rigs at Mt Gee, the Premier called them “cowboys” and suspended their drilling operations!
They are proceeding, ironically, with an Environmental Impact Statement and are intending to apply for a licence to mine at Arkaroola.
They have not been punished at all.
The smell of corruption hangs over this operation.
Former State ALP President and Federal Minister, Chris Schacht has held shares in the company for several years. He helped overturn the SA ALP’s “no new mines” uranium policy. After the “dumping” scandal, he was given a Board position so that his contacts could be used to the company’s advantage.
One of two major shareholders is Ken Talbot of Queensland’s Macarthur Coal.
He is before the courts in Queensland charged with corruptly making payments of $300,000 to a Labor Minister who subsequently voted for a project that benefited Macarthur Coal’s Coppabella Mine Project. Two of his employees, both involved with the Coppabella project, sit on Marathon’s board.
Marathon has also had to answer several “please explain” letters from the Australian Stock Exchange which have hinted at insider trading and other market irregularities.
Although Marathon badges itself as a locally-owned company, its other major shareholder is the China International Trade and Investment Corporation (CITIC). The Chinese paid a heavy price for their own liberation from imperialism and should not now start playing the part of a superpower that rides roughshod over the feelings of the Australian people.
Let there be no mistake – the Australian people do not want Arkaroola wrecked in the pursuit of private profit by uranium mining, whether that be as an above-ground operation, or via a tunnel (of from anywhere between 2 and 20 km in length).
Arkaroola must be completely remediated at Marathon’s expense, and the entire Wilderness Sanctuary closed to any further exploration or mining.
Bills to ban mining at Arkaroola will be introduced to State Parliament.
The Labor Party, which proudly boasts that it is “pro-business, pro-growth and pro-mining” cannot be relied upon to support a ban.
We must keep the pressure on Rann, Foley, Holloway and Co. to ensure Arkaroola’s protection.
Support the call to ban mining at Arkaroola! Marathon must get out and stay out!
You can help by writing to the Premier, Mike Rann, in support of these demands, and by checking the following websites for information and updates:
Background to today’s statement of concern about Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Damage has been done to Mt Gee, one of the nation’s most important geological monuments situated in the very heart of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.
Mt Gee is heritage listed, on the national register, but this did not stop Marathon Mining from dumping more than 22,800 bags of radioactive waste, turning it into South Australia’s largest illegal nuclear dump.
Over 750 drill holes pincushion the area and, in the process, rare, nationally listed fluorite crystal formations were needlessly and irreparably destroyed.
The main ore deposit is still unproven, but it is known to be small, and it’s low grade. It is miniscule when it is compared with large, established concerns like Roxby and Ranger, not to mention even bigger and as yet undeveloped ore bodies in WA and Queensland.
It’s simply not worth destroying and compromising heritage listed Mount Gee in the middle of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary for such a small deposit.
Marathon has plans to tunnel 10kms into the area, using scarce and as yet unidentified water resources to process low grade ore sites subject to uncontrollable flash flooding. The risks are that rare flora and fauna will be irrevocably ruined for 950 tonnes of ore. Roxby and Ranger produce more than ten times that amount, each.
Ministries, such as Primary Industries, Environment and Tourism, have been utterly ineffective, negligent even, in protecting this area. Departments, their officers and their Ministers did not to stop this despoliation. It is time they spoke up and had the courage to do what they are there to do – protect the nation’s heritage.
The charade must stop. The area must be rehabilitated. Marathon must be made to move out and be fined for the damage it has done. The area must be protected by legislation designed to make sure these mistakes can never be made again.
You can help by visiting the following websites for further information and taking any of the actions suggested there.


2 responses to “Arkaroola Uranium

  1. Bill says:

    I agree mining is out of control but the corruption and greed within aboriginal communities is as big a problem as the government corruption. Now we learn the Coulthards at Iga Warta are promoting and cashing in from the expansion of uranium mining in delicate parts of the flinders..why do they bother taking in tourists and blabbering storytime when they are as corrupted and short sighted as the politicians…shame on those who are supposed to have some better understanding of this land.

  2. nomines says:

    This is true agony. Perhaps Nature (the Boss) will have People reconsider their surrender to temptation, human greed.

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