The state government of South Australia will compensate Marathon Resources for the mining ban it imposed at Mount Gee. The mineral exploring firm has accepted $5 million in compensation for the cancellation of its uranium mining in the sensitive Arkaroola area.
When the government put in place a permanent mining ban in the Arkaroola wilderness region of the Flinders Ranges the company, Marathon Resources, launched legal action. This case has now been settled with the state government agreeing to pay the company compensation in return for the company dropping all legal action against the State Government.
Peter Williams, the chairman of Marathon Resources said that after former premier Mike Rann announced plans for a permanent mining ban the company launched legal action. It was now seven months since the negotiations following the case were held. Mr Williams added that whilst the company would have preferred to have had the opportunity to realize the mineral potential of Mount Gee and surrounding prospects at Arkaroola, the settlement goes some way to recognizing the shareholder value lost as a result of the ban on mining at Arkaroola. He added that the board was pleased that this difficult period for the company had come to an end. The settlement with the State Government allows the company to move on and seek out new opportunities with sufficient cash resources to exploit them, said Mr. Williams.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said that the $5 million ex gratia payment to Marathon Resources acknowledges the costs incurred by the company in exploring on its leases. He added that Arkaroola would be protected for all time due to the decision taken by this Government to exclude future exploration and mining in the most significant areas of this unique and environmentally sensitive part of the State.