Court halts Xstrata expansion plans

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.

full story and audio link…

2 responses to “Court halts Xstrata expansion plans

  1. The thought of this occurring is unthinkable. What can be done to reverse this vandalism? Has Xstrata provided any impact statements? Its just mindless and should be used as what can happen when people and their natural rights are ridden over in the pursuit of money. I feel helpless.

  2. Peter,

    Don’t feel helpless. We can win this one.

    Ring/meet some of your local politicans.

    Put up a sign on the road.

    Write letters to the paper.

    Call talkback radio.

    Write to Xstrata.

    Lets make this a federal election issue.

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