Sunday, 23 December 2012 09:21
The Tasmanian government has granted another mining lease for the Tarkine, just days after approving an open cut operation in the environmental hot spot.
West Australian mining company Venture Minerals has been given a lease for its Riley Creek iron ore mine near Tullah in Tasmania's northwest.
It's the second of three Venture proposals for the area to be approved by the state government.
The projects still require approval from Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
Mr Burke this week gave the go-ahead for Indian company Shree Minerals' new open-cut mine in the Tarkine region.
Tasmanian Deputy Premier Bryan Green says the Riley Creek operation will create 60 jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Mr Green said Venture's third proposal, the Mt Lindsay tin and tungsten mine, would be worth $200 million and create 1000 jobs.
"The heavily mineralised areas of the northwest and west coasts continue to present significant job and economic opportunities for the state," he said in a statement.
The Tarkine, home to the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the southern hemisphere and the last haven of disease-free Tasmanian devils, is being assessed for its heritage value.
At the same time, about 10 mines are planned for the area in the next five years.
Tarkine National Coalition spokesperson Scott Jordan said Venture's lease was illegal and should only have been granted if environmental impact assessments had been finalised.
Mr Jordan said the Riley Creek assessment was still underway.
"This lease is illegal and invalid," he said.
Tasmanian Minerals Council CEO Terry Long said the mine proposal came with a 700-page environmental report which had been submitted to Tasmania's Environment Protection Authority.
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