Blockade set up against company threatening sacred sites.

Blockade set up against company threatening sacred sites.

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John Ahni Schertow
April 7, 2007

Apr 03 – In Southern Australia, a group of Indigenous people set up a blockade at the Yumbarra Conservation Park, in protest against the activities of the mining company Iluka Resources, whom are threatening sacred sites. Here’s a couple stories from ABC News Australia (1, 2); both of which interestingly portray Iluka as the innocent victim… I also found the following article on Critical times

April 4th, 2007

Iluka Mining Corporation’s activities were disrupted by Indigenous Traditional Owners, their families and supporters on a dusty back road in the Yumbarra Conservation Park near Ceduna on Friday 29th March.

The Kokatha Mula Traditional Owners are currently in the Conservation Park undertaking preservation of country including vital maintenance of rockholes. On Friday they encountered Iluka Resources workers clearing roads in preparation for mining exploration, which could include drilling for water.

Sue Coleman Haseldine, Kokatha Mula Traditional Owner, met the road-clearing crew on the track on Friday. After a peaceful discussion the miners and contractors agreed to leave, ceasing work for the day. Sue Coleman Haseldine stated: “The wealth and the future of this country lies in the preservation of its beauty, not in short-term mining projects that leave a legacy of problems for the environment and the local community.”

Iluka Resources are currently undertaking mineral sands exploration from within what is part of the largest stretch of pristine stunted mallee woodland in the world. Traditional owners have stated that any removal of underground water could seriously affect the supply of water to rockholes that hold particular cultural significance, as well as being essential for the survival of thousands of species of plants and animals. In an era when household water restrictions are ever tightening, Iluka Resources have announced an interest in using ground water from the area for possible mining operations, indicating an amount of 6 Gigalitres a year.

A second team of Iluka Resources representatives attempted to resume activity on Sunday 1st April but were again turned away. Senior representatives of the company are expected to return for further discussions with the Kokatha Mula Traditional Owners, who continue to hold their vigil.

Camp contact:
Sue Coleman Haseldine mb: 0428872375

Alternate contact:
Bronwyn Coleman Sleep: mb: 0418843263

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