Thursday, January 17, 2008

it's time - marathon must go!

magnificent mount painter is right next door to the target area - link to my Arkaroola Sanctuary - would U mine it? set on flickr Ugly pictures of piles of shoddily concealed waste dumped in plastic bags. Bulldozer tracks carved across hillsides. The rumbling of heavy drilling rigs. Is this how we see our premier wilderness sanctuary? It's certainly how we're seeing it now!...

We all know the story - all the information any reasonable person could ever need is available below. And now it's on Channel 7 news.

Marathon Resources' exploration program at Mount Gee must halt immediately. The State Government can no longer hide behind procedural technicalities, and pray the project goes away. They have to finish it. Now! Premier Mike Rann must step in, as he did when the same company tried to set up operations on the Fleurieu Peninsula in 2006.

Please e-mail Mike Rann, telling him so. Phone his office. Fax him. You don't have to say much at all - he knows what's going on. All you need to do is get it across his desk.

Just say the exploration program must be halted. Immediately.

You can mention the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary's being inducted into the SA Tourism hall of fame last year. And it's winning the 2007 award for Ecotourism. And for Major Tourist Attraction. And Sustainable Tourism.

You can mention that this exploration activity is being undertaken directly adjacent to the internationally famous Ridgetop Track, along which the Ridgetop Tour runs.

You can mention that Mount Gee is an internationally significant geological monument.

You can mention that in that any reasonable interpretation of the legislation that makes this a Class A Environmental zone this deposit could never be mined anyway (least of all by those who have produced this kind of mess in the exploration stage!)

You can mention that this is your landscape, and you don't want to see it trashed by those who are blinded by dollar signs!

You can raise any number of other points raised below, or by the Wilderness Society, or by the Sanctuary owners themselves.

He knows it all already. It probably won't hurt to remind him.

But most of all he needs to be reminded that the people of SA don't want mineral exploration in the heart of the Wilderness Sanctuary. Not now; not ever. Some gems are way too precious to mine. And way too valuable to account for.

The Premier The Hon. Mike Rann

Phone: 8463 3166
Fax: 8463 3168


  1. Written in a fit of anger so perhaps somewhat raw:

    Greetings Premier,

    Having recently been assured by the Minister for Mineral Resources and also by my local MLA, the Member for Playford, that exploration activity at Mount Gee was being conducted under strict conditions set by your Government, I am appalled to see that the Exploration Licensee, Marathon Resources, is apparently treating this area within Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary as a rubbish dump.

    Having already written lengthy correspondence to the Minister and Member I do not intend to reiterate my concerns in this correspondence. Rather, I simply ask your Government to hold the Licensee to account and ensure that no further damage due to mineral exploration occurs in what I trust you will agree is one of this State's greatest environmental and tourism assets.

    I look forward to receiving your assurances.

    Yours sincerely,
    Damon Schultz

  2. Damon - it reads well to me, and it's pretty hard not to be infuriated after months of the standard bureaucratic run-around and mealy-mouthed (re)assurances that have amounted to nothing!

    Here's my short epistle to big Mike -

    The Premier The Hon. Mike Rann

    I have written to your government before in this matter, and I don't intend to restate all my arguments again. It is clear that this company - Marathon Resources Ltd. - cannot be relied upon to undertake either mineral exploration or mining in an area as sensitive as the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

    I call on you to step in and call a halt to Marathon Resources' project, as you did when this same company previously attempted to set up operations on the Fleurieu Peninsula,

    I am at a loss to understand that this exploration could ever have been permitted in the first place, since the clear intent of the Environmental Class A zone legislation was to allow the area full protection, barring only the unlikely event of otherwise unavailable resources being required in a national emergency. Doug and Marg Sprigg were entitled to feel that their Sanctuary had the highest conservation status it clearly deserves.

    I am afraid that this whole episode has seriously tarnished your government's credibility as environmental managers.

    Further, I call on you to definitively rule out such a mine within the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Bill Doyle

  3. Here is some background on the history of Mount Gee folks. Gee has been drilled extensively (> 1000 bores) Marathons actions demonstrate that standards dont exist for sustainable mining but the government is greedy for the royalties which for a new mine are only 1.5% Revenue therefore is hot high from mining, say $100m last year. This money would barely cover the land degradation, water usage, water contamination and so forth.

    And also, where is the Uranium that has been extracted from all these holes around Gee, Painter and Radium Hill?? Big mystery there a voluntary check-in box at the PIRSA office in Adelaide. In Summary, what is occuring at Mt Gee signals that the SA government should not be supervising Uranium extraction at all because they simply dont have the intent to monitor these mines properly. Yes, the federal government should step in quickly and close all the new mines pending investigation.

    The issue of groundwater contamination is covered in the linked article.




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!