Traditional owners challenge McArthur River Mine expansion

from the ABC

Proceedings have begun in the Northern Territory’s Supreme Court over the expansion of the McArthur River Mine near Borroloola.

Traditional owners from McArthur River are challenging the decision by the Northern Territory Government to approve the expansion of the mine, which is operated by Xstrata.

Last year the Territory’s Mines Minister approved the expansion, which includes the diversion of the McArthur River for five and a half kilometres and conversion to an open cut operation.

Today about 20 traditional owners packed the Supreme Court to hear proceedings begin.

Defence lawyer Tim Robertson told the court the approval to expand the mine flies in the face of the Mine Management Act.

He also told the court environmental conditions surrounding the approval will also be examined.

The hearing has been set down for five days.

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