Your View: Mining approvals

I’M perplexed by the inconsistencies in how the Mining Act is applied to the various types of mining and exploration.

I see conditions applied to extractive minerals mining leases in the Copper Coast area are less imposing than those conditions applied to erecting a shed. There seems to be no requirement for extractive minerals miners to provide details about methodologies used to mitigate dust or protect heritage, nor do they need to provide technical engineering details about the mine construction and operation.

In comparison, if a mineral explorer wishes to drill a few holes there are stringent requirements to describe each part of the drill program in great detail including remediation methods for a few square metres around the hole.

Apparently, you can dig up 20 hectares of farmland to mine granite, limestone or sand with little more than a few words about remediation. Dust mitigation requires no more than mentioning a water truck.

How can a 10-year extractive minerals lease be granted based on a thin veil of detail and vague conditions whilst a drill program of a few days needs a detailed plan and explanation and is subject to stringent conditions?

I am now wondering if the farmers on Yorke Peninsula are right to be very wary of the mining department. I still can’t see why there isn’t more local objection and scrutiny exercised upon the growing number of extractive mineral operations around the peninsula.

Dr David Miller, Wallaroo

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