Gov should not pay compo to miner, Greens say

The South Australian Government should not offer compensation to Marathon Resources following its ban on operating in the region, the Greens say.

This comes after SA premier Mike Rann declared the Arkaroola wilderness, where Marathon operates, a protected area.

Under these new plans, the Government will initially protect the region under the Mining Act, and include legislation which specifically excludes mining, according to AdelaideNow.

This new legislation will be introduced before the end of the year.

Rann explained that there would be a three step process.

Firstly it would protect the area under the Mining Act, stopping exploration and mining titles being granted.

After this it will enact special purpose legislation to protect the wilderness, and define the area under statute, which would prohibit mining, exploration and grazing.

The final step will be to nominate the area for National Heritage Listing and World Heritage Listing, Rann said.

Following this, Marathon chairman Peter Williams announced he will meet with SA mineral resources minister Tom Koutsantonis today, for compensation.

Greens MP Mark Parnell called on the minister to “not succumb to pressure to pay compensation when it doesn’t need to, to a company that simply doesn’t deserve it.

“Marathon Resources, their shareholders and directors went into this with their eyes well and truly wide open. There is absolutely no legal obligation on the Government to pay them one cent for their exploration costs,” Parnell said.

“As the Premier has repeatedly said: Marathon Resources had a licence to explore, not to mine.  It is not the same thing, and if the mining industry thinks it is, then we need to have a much broader community debate about where mining companies are allowed to explore in our State.

“The Rann Government has got itself into this situation by allowing Marathon Resources back in to explore in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary even after the company was found to have grossly breached their exploration licence conditions in 2007.”

Marathon says it is "taking appropriate advice with a view to seeking to redress the impact of this unprecedented action announced by the South Australian Government".

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