1st April 2007
MINING EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES STOPPED
BY INDIGENOUS TRADITIONAL OWNERS
IN OUTBACK CEDUNA
Iluka Mining Corporation’s activities were disrupted by Indigenous Traditional Owners and their families and supporters on a dusty back road in the Yumbarra Conservation Park near Ceduna last Friday 29th March.
The Kokatha Mula Traditional Owners are currently in the Conservation Park undertaking preservation of country including vital maintenance of rockholes and the lake system. On Friday they encountered Iluka Resources workers clearing roads in preparation for mining exploration, which would include drilling for water.
Sue Coleman Haseldine, Kokatha Mula Traditional Owner, met the road-clearing crew on the track on Friday. After a peaceful discussion the miners and contractors agreed to leave, ceasing work for the day. Sue Coleman Haseldine stated: “The wealth and the future of this country lies in the preservation of its beauty, not in short-term mining projects that leave a legacy of problems for the environment and the local community.”
Iluka Resources are currently undertaking exploration of the area with a view to mine zircon and uranium deposits from within what is the only stretch of pristine stunted mallee bushland in the world. Traditional owners have stated that any removal of underground water would seriously affect the supply of water to rockholes that hold particular cultural significance, as well as being essential for the survival of thousands of species of plants and animals. In an era when household water restrictions are ever tightening, Iluka Resources plan to remove around 6 Gigalitres per year of underground water from the area for their mining operations.
A second team of Iluka Resources representatives attempted to resume road clearing today (Sunday 1st April) but were again turned away. Senior representatives of the company are expected to return tomorrow morning for further discussions with the Kokatha Mula Traditional Owners, who continue to hold their vigil.
Camp contact: Sue Coleman Haseldine mb: 0428872375
Alternate contact: Bronwyn Coleman Sleep: mb: 0418843263