City re­jects miner’s search

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

A pro­posal to ex­plore for min­er­als on Kar­ratha’s doorstep has been re­jected by coun­cil­lors as an in­ap­pro­pri­ate use of land val­ued by the com­mu­nity and tra­di­tional own­ers.

Stone­form Hold­ings’ pro­posed ex­plo­ration li­cence would cover an area bounded by the North West Coastal High­way, Kar­ratha town­site and both en­trance roads, in­clud­ing large sec­tions of the Kar­ratha hills.

The li­cence would also ex­tend to parts of the sub­urb of Bayn­ton, most of the Light In­dus­trial Area, west across Madi­gan Road and south to a small sec­tion of Kar­ratha Sta­tion on the other side of the high­way.

City of Kar­ratha Deputy Mayor John Lally said the li­cence would jeop­ar­dise the fu­ture of Kar­ratha’s de­vel­op­ment.

“A ma­jor­ity of the land in­cluded in the pro­posal is ear­marked for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of Kar­ratha and should the min­ing ten­e­ment go ahead, any po­ten­tial ex­pan­sions would be lim­ited,” he said.

The City also raised con­cerns about the po­ten­tial vis­ual im­pact from the en­trance roads into Kar­ratha and the pos­si­bil­ity of min­ing ac­tiv­ity in the hills them­selves.

In a pro­po­nent’s pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil­lors in May, it was said that it was un­likely peo­ple would no­tice the drilling and the lo­ca­tion of the out­crop­ping min­er­al­i­sa­tion was small com­pared to the li­cence area.

Coun­cil­lor Robin Van­den­berg said the pro­posal would cre­ate jobs, help lo­cal busi­nesses and would not have an ad­verse im­pact on the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

“I just don’t think it will be any harm at all in drilling a few holes on the other side of the hill,” he said. Sev­eral im­por­tant Ngar­luma cul­tural sites are in the ap­pli­ca­tion area.

Ngar­luma Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion was un­avail­able for com­ment, but is un­der­stood to be op­posed to the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The Depart­ment of Mines and Pe­tro­leum will have the fi­nal say on grant­ing the li­cence.

Stone­form Hold­ings owner Kurt Mau­ritz failed to re­spond to calls for com­ment.

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