Tasmania’s Tarkine region is back in the spotlight with Shree Minerals having halted mining at the Nelson Bay River iron ore mine, affecting 40 jobs in the region.
The company has said that it had “adjusted” mine scheduling for efficiency in their supply chain, with measures taken to conserve resources during the current low price cycle.
Shree has halted mine development in terms of waste stripping, and has also suspended ore mining.
The Greens Party in Tasmania have been alarmed by the move, calling into question the lack of an environmental rehabilitation plan for the mine, and have said that no plan was lodged with the government.
Last month Shree management denied that they would temporarily stop production due to a drop in iron ore prices.
Circular Head mayor Daryl Williams told the ABC that workers had been told as early as May that they would not be needed “for several weeks” and that he understood that Shree would halt mining in June for up to three months.
Blame has fallen on the previous Labor government for talking up the mining boom in order to campaign for seats in the Braddon electorate, with the Greens questioning what Labor ministers knew about the mine’s ability to turn profit.
The Tarkine area has become a battleground for miners and environmental groups, with a lengthy legal battle forcing a trading halt for Venture Minerals over the Riley Creek project.
The Tarkine region is the only area in which Tasmanian Devils do not have Facial Tumour Disease.
Fellow Tasmanian miner Copper Mines of Tasmania has also been under fire relating to a series of fatal accidents, however a restart to operations is planned for the end of June.