City rejects miner’s search
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.