Mirrar win veto over mine

May 31, 2003

This page was created in 2003 and may contain language which is now outdated.

The Mirrar Aborigines of Australia's Northern Territory have for many years opposed the construction of a uranium mine on their land. Ever since the huge find in 1971 at a site called Jabiluka, on the edge of the famous Kakadu National Park, the Mirrar have engaged in a ceaseless battle. They have campaigned tirelessly around the world and even protested at the mine site.

Survival has lobbied the Australian government and the UN, and financially supported the Mirrar; many other organisations around the world have also supported them.

In a remarkable victory for the Mirrar and their many supporters around the world, the chairman of Rio Tinto Sir Robert Wilson, whose company now owns the deposit, has said that they will not develop the mine without the consent of the Aborigines. ‘We won't develop it without their consent, full stop.' The senior traditional landowner, Yvonne Margarula, said in response, ’I'm not going to agree to the… mine, for whatever reason they want from it, money or whatever else. Mining ruins the land… My mind is firmly set.'

Photos available to the press: for more information contact Miriam Ross (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]

Aboriginal peoples