Helena and Aurora Range

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 11:07
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Gidday

People might remember a thread a month or so ago about a proposal to mine this area north of Southern Cross for iron ore.

The Environmental Protection Authority has knocked it on the head at the first hurdle, refusing to even assess the miner's plans.

According to the regulator, the ranges are some of the oldest and most ecologically sensitive landforms in the world.

They are home to rare plants and animals that in many cases are found nowhere else.

Its determination cited as reasons for not assessing the proposal the "serious and irreversible impacts to the integrity of landforms of the Helena and Aurora Range" and the "loss of conservation significant flora, vegetation communities and fauna impact to Aboriginal heritage sites".

Needless to say this is just the first battle. This is WA after all and mining is king. And I have little faith in the government to do the right thing if they can find a way to feed the mining beast.

I have not been to this area but I know people who have and they tell me it is pretty special.

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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:02

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:02
Yes its the first battle but a good start.

I've been to H & A and surrounds numerous times - really speccy.

There is so much iron ore out there - its just that they just want the easy pickings and to hell with conserving just some of the country.

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AnswerID: 542470

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:37

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:37
This is a good move - and I also admit, I've been a miner and I've dug a lot of open pits.
However, there are some areas that should not be mined, and this is one of them.
Chris Ellison, the CEO of the mining company involved is raging about job losses - yet the company has said it will close its other currently operating mine if the iron ore price drops any more. So the economics of mining the Helena & Aurora Ranges are borderline, anyway.
He's full of it, he's of the breed that believes miners should have unfettered access to any ore body so the likes of him can keep himself in new top-of-the-wozza Beemers and live the good life on shareholders funds.
It's time he realised that consultation and the community good are factors he has to deal with, and accommodate as well.
It's not like the ore body is the only iron ore left in the world, the NW of W.A. still has enough for 100 years.
There's also no point in mining ores when the price is rock bottom and companies lose money producing the ore.
Ellison will just have to look elsewhere for his next pot of gold.
AnswerID: 542471

Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:43

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 13:43
ive travelled some of those ironstone hills both for work and play
just a total different feel amongst them than the surrounding flat deep soil areas.
i was somwhat surprised as they are relitivly little known compared to the Pilbarra and i would have thought the thinking would be not enough people would care.
I work in the mining industry but those hills are all extremely unique acting as reefs do in otherwise featureless oceans
the dryness and the distance between them means not much translocation goes on between flora and fauna that rely on the features.
the EPA does howver have track history at taking steps to protect this area
not allowing full scale mining at windarling and holting another project due to rare spiders
AnswerID: 542472

Reply By: Rod W - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 15:19

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 15:19
It was good to read of the win to save the region, however at the stroke of the Minster's pen it can be over ridden like the Windarling Range was.

In the meantime there maybe a railway line to the Macarthur Ularring Hematite project which is to the south of Lake Barlee and northeast of the Mt Manning Range http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ebb242e2658d8e4174e4bbc2c&id=efcbc37699&e=f6fb868973
AnswerID: 542475

Reply By: AlanTH - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 10:03

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 10:03
I think it's all a bluff to delude us into thinking it's not going to happen due to strong EPA action to protect the ranges.
In a few months it'll get the go ahead with so called "strict environmental protections" in place and the whole area will be ripped apart because the government needs the money to continue it wasteful ways.
No way will the top end of town and big mining be held up for long.
AlanH.

AnswerID: 542499

Reply By: Joe Fury - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 18:08

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 18:08
G'day Everyone

It is somewhat heartening to read that the proposed mining in the Helena and Aurora Range has been "knocked on the head" ~ sadly if history is any sort of guide there will be an avenue open to the mining industry or as some one quite rightly said the top end of town will convince the policy makers into changing the no mining position.

The James Price Point gas hub scenario is a perfect example of slippery dealings between the resource industry and government, very sadly the Pilbara is still being exploited at a frenetic rate, with several new mining operations getting the go ahead even though the iron ore industry is wounded ~ maybe not mortally but they are nearing parity with the cost of ore production and ore sales, in dollars and cents.

There is another round of employee trimming about to happen in the resource sector so it won't be much of a Christmas for these people and their families.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
AnswerID: 542515

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