Traditional owners and environment group challenge McArthur River Mine Supreme Court decision

A recent Supreme Court decision that the Northern Territory Mining Minister’s reduction of the rehabilitation bond at one of the largest lead and zinc mines in the world was not unlawful is being challenged by a coalition of traditional owners and environmental organizations.

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) lawyers lost a long-running legal battle in April over the McArthur River Mine, which has been at the center of a number of environmental scandals and is located approximately 1,000 kilometers south-east of Darwin near the community of Borroloola.

They had contended Mining Clergyman Nicole Manison’s choice to diminish the mine’s $520 million security bond by $120 million in late 2020 was unlawful.

They additionally provoked the choice to support the extension of the mine’s waste stone dump and open-cut pit without a corrected finish of-life plan.

Equity Judith Kelly subdued the legitimate test, saying the offended parties had neglected to lay out that Ms Manison’s choices were “preposterous”, or that they didn’t consent to the compulsory prerequisites in the Mining The executives Act.

Lawyers for Gudanji woman and native title holder Josephine Davey, the Environment Centre NT, and Garawa man Jack Green filed an appeal on Monday to have Justice Kelly’s decision reversed.

Ms. Davey stated, “We want them to listen about how to protect our land and our home.”

She stated that she is concerned that Glencore’s mine site, which is owned by the company, will not be restored to its original state when operations eventually come to an end.

Rehabilitation bonds are a financial guarantee that mining companies give to governments to cover any cleanup costs so that taxpayers don’t have to pay the toll if operators leave.

Environment Centre NT director Kirsty Howey stated, “The court’s decision last month poses unacceptable risks to local communities impacted by mining and to taxpayers who are frequently left to foot the bill for mine site rehabilitation.”

“It’s essential that states guarantee the expense of restoring mines is appropriately put on the organizations who incur the harm.

“On the mine’s own appraisal, it will require some type of checking for a long time. That ought to be reflected in the mine’s security bond.”
Elanor Fenge, the managing attorney for EDO, stated that the judge’s decision could result in additional so-called legacy mines being abandoned in the region.

Heritage mines are neglected mines where citizens have been compelled to foot extravagant bills to diminish their poisonous outcome.

Ms. Fenge stated, “What the court’s decision does not say is that it does not require a security bond that reflects the actual costs of rehabilitating the mine at the end of the mine’s life in 2037.” This is something that the court’s decision does not say.

“That’s a concern for the Borroloola community.”

Mr. Green, a senior elder from Borroloola, stated that the fight was not over, even though the court’s decision was detrimental to the community.

He stated, “The decision makes it difficult for the community and pulls them down.”

“It makes us more miserable on the grounds that there are a great deal of hallowed destinations around the mine we are stressed over that are essential for our regulation and culture.”

Because the matter is before the court, a spokesperson for Mining Minister Nicole Manison stated that she would not be commenting.

Glencore has likewise been reached for input.

Source – ABC.Net.Au

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