Archive for March, 2015
Australia’s biggest national park to be created in WA’s Kimberley as mining companies relinquish tenement
The new agreement will see the Mitchell Falls in WA’s Kimberley region included in the national park.
A five million hectare slice of Western Australia’s Kimberley region will become the country’s largest national park after the State Government struck a deal forever banning mining in the iconic Mitchell Plateau.
After extensive negotiations, a 45-year state agreement that gave Rio Tinto rights to mine bauxite and Alcoa the right to refine aluminium on the Mitchell Plateau has been cancelled.
No further mining or exploration will be permitted in the 175,000 hectare area, which will be included in the new five million hectare Kimberley National Park which includes a network of land and marine parks.
Amid the questioning of government support for remote Aboriginal communities and what Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the “lifestyle choices” of those who live there, the growing role of Aboriginal management of large areas of remote Australia has been overlooked.
There are 1,200 small, discrete Indigenous communities in regional and remote Australia with various sources of income, including federal government “Working on Country” funding.
As if the Federal Treasurer did not have enough to worry about, with an economy stuck in the slow lane and ballooning government debt.
Now, one of Australia’s few economic bright spots – the liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom – is coming off the boil as well, thanks to the plunge in oil prices over the past year.
By some estimates, Australia is set to become the world’s largest gas exporter by 2018.
But the LNG price is linked to the oil price, and with benchmark Brent Crude halving since June, that will blow a sizeable hole in Australia’s expected LNG bounty.
Samples from Northern Minerals’ Browns Range rare earth project near Halls Creek.
A rare earth mine in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia is a step closer to reality, after the release of Northern Minerals’ final feasibility study.
The company said the feasibility study had confirmed its Browns Range project, 160 kilometres south-east of Halls Creek, was viable and profitable.