TPEHN has today (Thurs) called on the Tasmanian Government to implement a Moratorium on all new mine exploration licences and new mine leases in Tasmania.
TPEHN Spokesperson Isla MacGregor said that “A Moratorium is essential until such time as:
* There is a return to Government regulation, with monitoring, and policing of polluting activities by mining companies. Self regulation by mining companies does not work.
* The EPA, Mineral Resources Tasmania and the Contaminated Sites Unit is adequately resourced, staffed and funded to regulate, monitor and enforce activities by mining companies.
* Applications for Mine exploration or mining leases on land that has Aboriginal heritage to be determined by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.
* Review of all areas subject to exploration licenses and mining leases particularly prime agricultural land and land where communities could be affected.
* Mine exploration licenses or mine leases will not be granted to companies that breach human rights during their operations in other countries OR do not comply in those countries with environmental guidelines operating in Australia.
* A Resource Rent Tax on 50% of Mining company profits will be required to fund:
– Government regulation, monitoring and policing
– Independent population based public and environmental health research at abandoned and existing mine sites where people’s health or aboriginal heritage is at risk or environments, fauna and flora threatened.
* A Review of Mining Bonds to effectively fund the Mining Lands Rehabilitation Trust Fund.”
Isla MacGregor said “Without the above overhaul of mining operations in Tasmania, the Tasmanian public will have no confidence in the capacity of government to honestly and effectively regulate, monitor and police mining operations in Tasmania.”
Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network (TPEHN)
• Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Tarkine National Coalition: Shree Minerals deception makes them unfit to operate mines
West Australian prospective miner Shree Minerals has compounded their failure to cap exploration drill holes in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area, with an attempt to deceive the public in denying their guilt.
The company has claimed that the drill holes were capped, a claim that Tarkine National Coalition has photographic evidence to refute.
“I will be contacting Mineral Resources Tasmania this morning to offer them unedited photographic and video evidence that the holes were not capped, and it is clearly visible that no capping had ever been in place”, said Tarkine National Coalition’s Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.
“The fact that the company has attempted this deception on top of the original breach makes them clearly unfit to be granted a mine lease”.
“I grew up in mining town, my father worked at mines, and I started my working life in mineral exploration. As a child I saw friends lose fathers in mine accidents. I know how dangerous this industry is. Mistakes will happen, but when a company chooses deception over responsibility then they are clearly not a company that can be trusted with either the environment or people’s lives”.
A visit to the Shree Minerals’ Nelson Bay River proposed mine site in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area has discovered that the mining company has failed to cap at least nine drill holes, creating risks to the resident population of disease free Tasmanian devils. Failing to cap drill holes is a serious breach of both the Mineral Exploration Code of Practice and the operating conditions of their Exploration License. If Tasmanian devils are found to have perished in the holes, the company may be in breach of the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.