MRM/Xstrata have been threatening to leave the Northern Territory for a long time. Maybe its time they did, then a more progressive, environmentally friendly company could mine without diverting the river.
To assist Xstrata I have provided some examples (below) of their threats to leave and how widely reported and believed it was. Its been reported in newspapers, online services, an NT Government Report and in the Australian Journal of Politics & History. The threat has been mentioned repeatedly in the NT Parliament and no doubt Prime Pinister Howard also believed it, that might explain his over enthusiatic support for the project.
Can we trust MRM/Xstrata to keep their word?
Disappointed with Minister’s recommendation
23rd February 2006
Mr Hearne said that if the proposal to develop the mine is not approved, the only next step is for it to close.
Xstrata environmental rejection ‘unfounded’
23 February 2006
The general manager of McArthur River Mine, Brian Hearne, says the operation will have to close altogether if the expansion is also knocked back by the Mines Minister.
Rejection prompts Xstrata to threaten mine closure
24 February 2006
LONDON — Xstrata Plc has threatened to close the McArthur River zinc mine in Australia’s Northern Territory after a member of the state government rejected the diversified miner’s proposal to convert the underground operations into an open pit to feed demand in the tight zinc market.
NT Govt Labour Market Review
24 February 2006
Xstrata has threatened to close its McArthur River mine… (p.4)
Xstrata to threaten mine closure
27 February 2006.
Xstrata has said rejection of the open pit application would force it to close the underground operation.
The Daily Resource
2 March 2006
A territorial environment ministry has rejected Xstrata PLC’s bid to move to open pit mining, and referred the matter to the federal government. The company has responded by saying that if the open pit application is turned down, it will have to close its underground operation at MacArthur River in the Northern Territory.
Xstrata says prompt decision on McArthur River mine critical
21 March 2006
The mining company has released a statement saying unless a prompt final decision is made, the mine will be forced to close.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 52 Issue 4 Page 637 – December 2006
place all the jobs in jeopardy due to the mine’s threatened closure
Court blocks expansion of Territory zinc mine
30 April 2007
Mr Roche said it would be interesting to see if MRM, which threatened to pull out of the Northern Territory last year if its expansion plans were not approved, would continue to pursue plans for a river diversion.
“They said if they could not get this approval they would walk away,” he said.
MRM says on its website that the mine faces closure because underground mining is no longer viable.