Second Tarkine mine win blow for activists

CONSERVATIONISTS opposed to mining in Tasmania's Tarkine have been dealt a second blow in a week, with another large resource project in the region winning federal approval.

Venture Minerals on Monday was granted permission to proceed with its Riley Creek iron ore proposal in north-western Tasmania.

Environment Minister Mark Butler says the mine will operate for two years, subject to strict conditions.

Just last week Mr Butler gave the green light to a $20million Shree Minerals' iron ore mine at Nelson Bay River in the contentious North-West region of the state.

The Tarkine, home to a population of healthy Tasmanian devils and one of the world's largest temperate rainforests, is fast becoming the state's new environmental flashpoint.

Green groups have gone to court to try to stop mining projects, but the area also has a long mining history and has been the scene of pro-mining rallies sponsored by unions.

In granting Venture permission to proceed, Mr Butler says he considered the impact of the development on endangered species in the area, including the Tasmanian devil and spot-tailed quoll.

But he's confident the conditions will work.

Venture must make a contribution to Tasmania's ongoing efforts to protect the devil, and pay about $50,000 to a rehabilitation program for every devil it kills above two every year.

The Tarkine contains one of the last populations of devils, free of the facial tumour disease that has wiped out up to 80 per cent of the species.


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