Plan for mining SA wilderness

The South Australian Government has flagged a plan to control mining and exploration in the State's Northern Flinders Ranges.

The South Australian Government has flagged a plan to control mining and exploration in the State’s mineral-rich Northern Flinders Ranges.

Premier Mike Rann told parliament yesterday that an environmental management framework on mining activity in the popular tourist spot is to be released for two months of public consultation.

Rann said the plan will see areas with significance for conservation and tourism excluded from exploration and resource development.

According to the plan, other environmentally and culturally important areas, such as the Mawson Plateau, Freeling Heights and Arkaroola Creek, would be managed to “preserve areas of local heritage and scenic beauty” and several sites will be zoned to allow “lower-impact exploration” and standard exploration and mining access.

“The framework clearly provides for ongoing access to areas of high mineral prospectivity,” Rann said.

“These management arrangements are in addition to existing protection under the Aboriginal Heritage Act and other relevant legislation.”

The State Government has been under pressure to limit mining in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary since a coalition of Greens MP Mark Parnell, Liberal senator Nick Minchin and State Liberal MP Iain Evans last month launched a campaign to ban mineral exploration in the area.

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