Marathon launches FOI request over mining ban

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Explorer Marathon Resources has lodged a freedom of information request over the mining ban imposed on the Arkaroola sanctuary by the South Australian Government.

New laws to ban all types of mining at Arkaroola were introduced by outgoing SA Premier Mike Rann in October.

Marathon had spent millions of dollars exploring the region and were looking to develop a uranium mining project in the area.

The company lost more than a third of its market value after the ban was announced and is currently trying to negotiate compensation.

Marathon Resources chairman Peter Williams said in a statement of quarterly activities yesterday the company’s FOI requests related to how the Government came to the decision of banning mining.

“[The FOI requests are] in relation to the concerns Marathon has about the way in which the Government reached its decision to ban mining at Arkaroola and the way in which the Government used the proclamation process,” he said. 

Marathon said its Mt Gee project in Arkaroola was the fifth largest undeveloped uranium resource in Australia.

It said it was ready to start a drilling program on the project within weeks before the Government announced the ban.

Marathon said it had met with mineral resources development minister Tom Koutsantonis a number of times but had reached no compensation proposal from the Government.

In the quarterly activities report Marathon also announced that proceedings in SA’s Supreme Court in action taken against it by former CEO Stuart Hall had been resolved.

It said the resolution was satisfactory from the company’s perspective but the details of the deal were confidential.

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