Miner defends proposal to mine on heritage land

Burrup Materials’ director has defended his mine proposal on heritage-listed land in the Pilbara, after coming under attack from a Greens MP.

Barrup Materials lodged an application with the Department of Mines and Petroleum to get three licenses and a mining lease on the Burrup Peninsula.

Burrup is hoping to mine rock for the proposed Dampier Marina.

Much of the land the company proposes to mine is national heritage listed. The Barrup Peninsula is full of Aboriginal rock art.

Greens MP Robin Chapple said he is surprised the company filed an application at all, the ABC reported.

“It’s not only a joke that it has got this far, but it shows a complete lack of sensitivity or even basic analysis by the proponent in this case that they could consider going here,” Chapple said.

“It is abject nonsense that some turkey could come along and actually put in an application to mine what is one of the most significant areas on the Burrup, when it’s covered by the national heritage listing.”

But Burrup director Leon Kurt Mauritz said mining the rock near the marina site is economical, according to the ABC.

He added he wishes to talk to local Indigenous groups about the proposal.

“We will be subject to all of the laws, both state and federal, with regard to the rights and interests of the Indigenous people.

“It is a criminal offence to disturb those Aboriginal artefacts, so I won’t be doing anything, until all the boxes are ticked. People are jumping to conclusions.

“I hope to establish a rock art museum on the site, I see this as an opportunity to centralise some of that rock art and protect it from the elements, protect it from theft and from vandalism, so that future generations can come and look at it, study it, enjoy it,” he said.

The mines department said it will not grant an application that could be destructive to Indigenous rock art.

If the proposal does get accepted, it would have to operate in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

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