A renewed license for Marathon Resources (ASX:MTN) to explore for uranium resources in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary has the Wilderness Society and South Australian Liberal Senator Nick Minchin up in arms.
There has been great criticism over the granting of the exploratory license to the company which had been caught illegally dumping waste in the Flinders Ranges in 2008.
Marathon resources operations in the Flinders ranges had been suspended after that incident. Now it has agreed to a number of conditions that have been imposed by the South Australian government to keep exploring the outback region for uranium and other minerals. It has also proposed a one for 10 renounceable rights issue.
Senator Minchin said that it was a reckless decision by the state Labor government. He added that it was incomprehensible that this government could so wantonly put at risk one of the most extraordinary and invaluable natural wonders in Australia, by renewing Marathon's license.
The Greens are going to lobby with the next South Australian mining minister to protect the Arkaroola wilderness. Almost 40 people protested against the renewal of the exploration license in Adelaide outside the Parliament House on Monday as current minister Paul Holloway quit the front bench.
The Greens MP Mark Parnell said that one of the first phone calls the new mining minister will get will be from him and it will be on behalf of those thousands of South Australians who know that Arkaroola is just too precious to mine.