PM – Monday, 30 April , 2007 18:37:47
Reporter: Anne Barker
MARK COLVIN: Traditional owners in the Northern Territory have scored a big unexpected victory against the Territory Government by overturning one of the biggest mining expansion projects in Australia.
The mining giant Xstrata had won approval to expand its massive McArthur River Mine near Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
But the expansion hinged on a contentious plan to divert five kilometres of the river and traditional owners and environment groups opposed that vehemently.
Today, the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by traditional owners to have the mine expansion stopped.
Anne Barker reports.
ANNE BARKER: McArthur River in the Gulf of Carpentaria is one of the biggest zinc and lead mines in the world. And if the mine’s owner Xstrata were to get its way, it would soon have been even bigger.
The mining giant had fought long and hard for approval to turn the mine from an underground to an open pit operation. But to do so it would have to divert five kilometres of the massive river.
The Territory Government granted approval last October. But today the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by traditional owners and overturned the decision.