MAC: Mines and Communities

Greens unite against mining

Published by MAC on 2005-04-27

Greens unite against mining Australia

By Suellen Hinde

April 27, 2005

NT and Australian environmentalists are calling on the French Government to stop its nuclear subsidiary, Areva, from developing a second uranium mine in Kakadu National Park.

French nuclear power company Cogema, owned by Areva, has said it wants to revive efforts to mine the Koongarra deposit near Nourlangie Rock.

A five-year moratorium on the site, 250km southeast of Darwin, imposed by traditional owners ended yesterday.

Cogema has tried to gain access to the deposit many times, but has been blocked by traditional owners.

Now the moratorium has ended, the company has signalled its intention to negotiate with traditional owners.

The clan responsible for the site is Djok-Gundjeitmi with the sole-surviving traditional owner, Jeffrey Lee, responsible for the decision. Mr Lee will be supported through any negotiation process by the Northern Land Council.

Five environmental groups - including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Wilderness Society - said yesterday they had written to the French ambassador about the site in the world-heritage-listed park.

They said the mine would harm wetlands of international significance and cause long-term problems in containing toxic and radioactive materials.

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