South Australia’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy (SACOME) and the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) have voiced their disappointment in the Arkaroola mining ban.
Premier Mike Rann announced a ban of mining operations in ‘perpetuity’ in the region, initiating a plan to have the region World Heritage listed.
SACOME stated that this “announcement sets a dangerous precedent and ignores future innovation”.
Jason Kuchel, chief executive of SACOME said “we are deeply disturbed by the precedent of banning mining under the very act that exists to enable mining”.
“For a Government that claims to be pro-mining and pro-innovation, this announcement does not even contemplate obvious future advances in technology and processes.”
AUA head, Michael Angwin agreed.
“The announcement favours one set of users over another in a decision which fails to recognise the continuing exemplary environmental performance of the mining sector,” Angwin said.
“This decision has the potential to destroy businesses and it certainly destroys future opportunity.”
Kuchel added that “this action does not even allow for underground mining that in future years could be viable by access from outside this area, using techniques that would ensure no surface disturbance whatsoever”.
“It also sends the wrong message to national and international investors in this State’s mineral resources sector about the adequacy and security of their investment risks – whether exploration, mining or support infrastructure.”
Kuchel also said the announcement was a slap in the face to the industry after meetings had already been scheduled with ministers to discuss the issue over the coming weeks.
Both lobby groups urged the Government to reconsider the announcement.
If this proposal is not overturned and dumped in favour of a level playing field that allows the mining industry to contribute to dual mining and environmental protection processes, Kuchel said.
“We call on the Government to urgently consider a policy of ‘No net loss of land for exploration and mining’ in South Australia to give reassurance to the industry that these highly unusual precedents will not become the thin edge of the wedge, potentially stifling mining before we ever had a boom in this state.
“We share the concerns of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy about the precedent this decision sets and the negative signals it sends to investors,” Angwin said.
Image: The Australian