Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Koongarra uranium mining would endanger precious wetlands

“Woolwonga is so valuable ecologically that we oppose in principle any mining development upstream of it,” the inquiry report said.

Rich uranium mine stays locked up, Northern Territory News, NIGEL ADLAM, August 11th, 2010 “….. The Fox Inquiry said in 1977 that Koongarra should not be mined as it is close to the internationally important Woolwonga wetlands.

“Woolwonga is so valuable ecologically that we oppose in principle any mining development upstream of it,” the inquiry report said.

But the 1200 ha was still excised from Kakadu when the national park was proclaimed in 1979.

An environmental impact statement was drawn up in 1982 but traditional owners voted against mining – and have maintained their opposition ever since.

Under the Howard government, miners applied for an exploration licence, but the Northern Land Council – using the Land Rights Act – rejected the bid in 2000.

Koongarra is near Nourlangie Creek and Nourlangie Rock, one of Australia’s foremost indigenous art sites.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said he had informed French mining company Areva about the Koongarra ban before making it public yesterday.

“Notwithstanding the company’s commercial interest in exploiting the resources at the site, Koongarra could never have been mined without the permission of its Aboriginal owners – and they have been very clear they would not allow this.”…..

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August 13, 2010 - Posted by | environment, Northern Territory, uranium | , , , , , ,

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