Battle over site ‘desecration’ continues

Mining junior OM Manganese has reinforced claims it damaged but did not desecrate an Aboriginal site in the Northern Territory, the Darwin Magistrates Court has heard.

The Australian reports the company admitted its mine design had caused the site, known as Two Women Sitting Down, to split in half.

But OM denied charges that blasting 40m away had caused a piece of rock to break off in the months leading up to the collapse.

According to The Australian OM also denied it had ignored advice from its own consultants to stop mining.

In court lawyers from the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority said one of the site's custodians had claimed the area's sacredness had been “greatly offended” by the blasting damage.

The AAPA said it intended to show that OM foresaw damage to the site and did not enforce the appropriate protections.

Damaging a sacred Aboriginal site carries a maximum penalty of $130,000 depending on the extent of the damage.

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