MAC/20: Mines and Communities

A planned betrayal?

Published by MAC on 2006-03-07


A planned betrayal?

7th March 2006

Was it naive to believe that the supposed "ground breaking" agreement between the Mirrar at Jabiluka and Rio Tinto would sail along uncontested? Two years ago, the mining company agreed not to mine the huge uranium deposit on Aboriginal territory, unless the owners gave their consent. [see: http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Action/press338.htm].

However, since then the market price of uranium has climbed dramatically, as have plans to boost nuclear power. (Recent talks between Australia and India indicate that the latter may seek uranium from the former in the near future).

Rio Tinto's existing Ranger mine is due to close in around five years,with sales of ore concluding three years later.

Unable to directly pressure the Mirrar into rescinding their rejection until 2010, is Rio Tinto backing the government's deceitful proposition to "swap" the Mirrar peoples' claims to Jabiluka for Jabiru township (which they rightfully own anyway)?

It would be naive not to think so.

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