Marathon to fight Arkaroola mining ban

Marathon Resources is preparing to fight the ban on mining in the Arkaroola Wilderness.

The company yesterday announced that it has retained two commercial law firms and senior counsel in South Australia and interstate to advise the miner on its options for its tenements in the newly declared wilderness sanctuary, News.com.au reports.

It comes after departing South Australian premier Mike Rann announced plans to make the Arkaroola a protected wilderness zone, banning mining in the region.

The area is protected under the Mining Act, stopping exploration and mining titles being granted.

Marathon chairman Peter Williams said the company will decide its options for Arkaroola after seeking advice.

"My obligation is to ensure shareholders’ interests are protected and that is precisely what we are doing," he said.

"The Government asked us to come back with details (of a potential resolution) and I hope we will be able to pursue exactly that."

The miner has considered seeking compensation for the exploration and study costs for its uranium tenements in the region.

While SA resources minister Tom Koustantonis said he had discussed with Marathon how much it had spent, there is no obligation for compensation.

“However, in the interests of fairness, we will look at the company’s cost in terms of exploration and consider where we go from there," Koutsantonis said.

Marathon has engaged the services of Kelly & Co and Melbourne firm Arnold Bloch Liebler.

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