Battle looms as mine in Tarkine is approved

The drill pad vicinity of Shree Minerals Ltd's main pit site for its iron ore mine in the Tarkine.
The drill pad vicinity of Shree Minerals Ltd's main pit site for its iron ore mine in the Tarkine.

CONSERVATIONISTS have vowed to stop a new Tarkine mine that has gained Commonwealth approval.

Shree Minerals Ltd's Nelson Bay River iron ore mine is expected to create about 125 direct jobs at Circular Head, as well as indirect jobs.

Its approval by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke was announced yesterday.

Environmentalist group Tarkine National Coalition immediately promised on-ground protests.

"Tony Burke may have failed the Tarkine: we won't," campaign co-ordinator Scott Jordan said.

"As soon as the company starts (construction), we'll be there.

"This is a decision that seals Tony Burke's betrayal of the Tarkine and hastens the extinction of the Tasmanian devil in the wild."

The project has strong support at Circular Head.

Mayor Daryl Quilliam has already warned that locals will not let the protesters have things their own way, while stressing that there was no violence planned.

He was thrilled by news of the approval.

"It's a good Christmas present for us," he said.

"I would have been horrified if it hasn't happened."

He said 120-plus jobs would have a big impact on Circular Head and the wider region.

"We've got a number of people travelling interstate for work and flying in and flying out who are looking forward to getting a role here," he said.

"I can't wait to see the iron ore coming out of there."

Mr Burke approved the project subject to 29 conditions.

Braddon Labor MHR Sid Sidebottom said: "Now that they have passed the rigorous environmental assessment process, Shree will be able to develop their mine and expect to create up to 125 much-needed new jobs for our region.

"Not only will there be jobs created directly for the mine, there is also the important benefit of the multiplier effect, bringing flow-on benefits for indirect jobs in supplier and services companies."

Tasmanian Minerals Council executive director Terry Long said the Shree project had been through "a testing approvals process as all mines need to go through, so you can have faith in the result".

Shree chairman Sanjay Loyalka said all necessary approvals were in place.


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