Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ACF calls on State Govt. to rule out Mount Gee mine

The Australian Conservation Foundation are calling on the SA government, Premier Mike Rann and Environment Minister Gail Gago, to rule out this proposed uranium mine just as the Premier ruled out uranium exploration & mining proposed by the same company near Myponga on the Fleurieu Peninsula in Nov 2006. The Premier should equally respect and act on community interest in protecting the high conservation value Mt Gee area in the northern Flinders Ranges from mining impacts as the he did in recognising and protecting the Fleurieu.

Mt Gee is within the Arkaroola Sanctuary, a gazetted Sanctuary under the SA National Parks and Wildlife Act an a key Eco-Tourism area in SA, and adjacent to the Gammon Ranges National Park. Features of the proposed mine project area include the charismatic yellow footed rock wallaby, a nationally listed threatened species classified as “vulnerable”, and Great Artesian Basin springs listed and protected as an “endangered ecological community” under Commonwealth environment legislation.

Marathon propose an underground hard rock mine, with consequent waste rock management issues, a new significantly impacting heavy haulage road across the Sanctuary to transport some 2 million tonnes of radioactive ore a year to an as yet undisclosed leach processing site, that would have significant liquid and solid tailings waste management and potential acid drainage problems.

The company propose the mine to operate for 13 years producing a claimed 1 000 tones of uranium a year, although the site is reported as having only some 2 000 to 3 000 tonnes of “indicated” uranium present ( a category with a more confident status) and up to 27 000 of “inferred” uranium a much more speculative classification.

Note - that the SA Env Minister has a full power of veto over this uranium mining proposal under the Radiation Protection and Control Act for which she has direct Westminster style responsibility.

See the Marathon Resources Pty Ltd Mt Gee Uranium Mining Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act referral dated Friday 14th Sept and application document (in two parts) via this EPBC link

David Noonan,
Anti-Nuclear Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation

I will be posting excerpts from the remarkable EPBC application, our first real look at the scale of what the company is actually proposing, and its likely impacts, to this blog shortly,

Bill Doyle


  1. Bill,

    ...if there's any visual indication in this document of the impact of the mine, I'm sure the 'tiser would, in its perverse 'rah rah the mining boom but don't trash an SA icon' kind of way, would be very interested.


  2. Of course sanctuaries should be kept as sanctuaries...if bodies such as the ACF yield influence would it not be wise for them to be publicising the flaws in the uranium case, vis a vis water, embodied energy costs of the mines, ground water contamination, and the risks inherent when process of approval is plagued with vested interest and corruption. I have seen very little representation of hard evidence by the ACF on this level...motherhood statements lift morale but the public needs to be informed about the big picture issues - I also have heard very little on this level from the Greens or the Democrats who have apparently oppose uranium mining??


thanks for your contribution - bill - i'm genuinely sorry about having to switch on the 'moderation' process but comment spammers have really been cluttering up this journal!