‘Walk away’: traditional owners defend Kakadu against a new push from uranium miners

‘Walk away’: traditional owners defend Kakadu against a new push from uranium miners

Yvonne Margarula led an alliance of the Mirarr people in opposing the Jabiluka uranium mine. The battle to protect Kakadu national park from uranium mining has reignited with a push to overturn an 18-year-old promise to First Nations people in order to access billions of dollars of radioactive ore.

It is the resurrection of a decades-old campaign to mine Jabiluka, a proposal that was abandoned after a hard-fought campaign by the Mirarr people – traditional owners – and environmentalists. But the debate is also throwing the rehabilitation of Ranger, an open-cut uranium mine adjacent to Jabiluka imposed on the Mirarr in the 1970s, into doubt.

Rio Tinto owns 86% of the mine operator, Energy Resources of Australia, and has agreed to spend the billions needed to restore the land at Ranger to the same quality as the surrounding park. Rio has also pledged not to mine Jabiluka as long as the […]

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