BY ALEX MILNE
Environment groups have welcomed mining company Energy Resources of Australia's commencement of rehabilitation work at the Jabiluka uranium mine, an enclave within the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
"This is a huge win for the Mirrar traditional owners, environment groups and the many thousands of people across Australia and around the world who opposed this mine", said Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney.
Rehabilitation of the Jabiluka site is a major step towards resolution of one of the largest environmental, Indigenous and anti-nuclear struggles in Australia's history. Work at Jabiluka has been stalled since September 1999.
In the coming weeks, 50,000 tonnes of uranium ore will be re-buried at Jabiluka and the mine entrance will be sealed. Rehabilitation work is expected to take up to two months.
"Traditional owners and environment groups set out to stop this mine in 1996", said Environment Centre Northern Territory coordinator Mark Wakeham. "Work at Jabiluka should never have been started and it is great news that it has now been stopped... We look forward to the signing of an agreement that will ensure that any future development of the mine will require the explicit consent of the Mirrar people", Wakeham said.
From Green Left Weekly, September 3, 2003.
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