Attorney General to appeal mining ban

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South Australia’s Attorney General John Rau is appealing a decision by the state’s Supreme Court to block development of an exploration lease held by Argonaut Resources.

On Friday the court ruled exploration at the Lake Torrens tenement could not go ahead after an Aboriginal Heritage Site Card was lodged over the area.

The court ruled the development had denied procedural fairness to the traditional owners, the Kohatha Wati and Adnyamathanha people.

According to Adelaide Now Rau has decided to appeal the decision on advice from Crown Law.

Earlier this week Argonaut Resources chairman Patrick Elliott said while the company accepted the court decision it was a “very disappointing outcome”.

Elliott also criticised the Government for creating an uncertain legal environment for the company and wasting its money.

He said the decision was a worrying sign for the SA mining industry, and allowed Government to “veto exploration and mining activities” on land where traditional ownership could be asserted.

The chair of the Andyamathanha Traditional Land Association, Vince Coulthard, told the ABC earlier this week the court’s decision was not about blocking mining.

He said many traditional owners supported mining development but the industry had to work in “conjunction with Aboriginal people”.

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