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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Petition against iron ore mine pipeline plan

Sunday, 09 Oct 2011

It is reported that Marra indigenous elders are organising a petition against a mining company proposal to pipe iron ore across Marra Aboriginal Land Trust land to Maria Island on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Western Desert Resources has lodged a notice of intent with the Northern Territory Government to pipe ore slurry from a mine it is planning in the proposed Limmen National Park near Roper Bar.

Some traditional owners of the mine site are supporting the mine and the company says it still has to consult traditional owners on the pipeline route and proposed port on Maria Island.

But Marra elder Mr Samuel Evans says many people are opposing the pipeline because of concerns about sacred sites and the environment.

He said that "At the moment we have got a petition going around. It is going to be going to the legislative assembly to Darwin and I think one is going to go down to Canberra."

Mr Evans says that at their last meeting the NLC did not listen to concerns voiced about sacred sites and the environment. He said that "They were more looking at trying to persuade the Marra people to say yes."

He added that "They were talking dollars and they were talking USD 2.50 a tonne."

The NLC says it does not accept that its professional consultative process could be so construed. It says that, by law, the information it provides must necessarily include advising as to possible financial benefits.

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