An alliance in Rankins Springs has been formed to oppose mining exploration plans from Rio Tinto.
Rio Tinto has been consulting with landowners near Lake Brewster, in a plan to survey the area for valuable battery metals such as copper. The mining company, currently worth upwards of $10 billion, is planning an initial survey of the area.
The initial survey will involve surface sampling and mapping, along with a "contained ground geophysical program" with minimal land disturbance, according to a statement from Rio Tinto.
A local group has formed the Monia Gap/Naradhan Alliance to prevent access to farms and private land in the area, in a bid to ensure the continued safety and prosperity of the area's agriculture.
President of the alliance David Groat said "These activities may only be exploratory at this stage, but we've seen where this can lead. Valuable farm operations and precious environmental and cultural values have been destroyed in way too many parts of Australia. We're determined not to allow it here on our watch."
The alliance has written to Rio Tinto protesting the actions, particularly highlighting the impact on endangered and threated species in the area.
The Glossy Black Cockatoo, for example, would be significantly impacted should a mine be built in the area.
In addition, concerns were raised by the alliance about the impact on local water supplies.
In a statement released, Mr Groat said that while the exploration might be relatively low-impact, it would be fruitless since a mine would be out of the question if deposits were discovered.
We will fight as long as we need toDavid Groat, president of the Monia Gap/Naradhan Alliance
"We have young men and women very much engaged in agriculture here and we want to protect their future. Any short term benefits of a mine are outweighed by the longer term problems left behind once the ore runs out."
Rio Tinto has promised to continue consulting with the community on how to minimise the impact on the surrounding land.
A spokesman for Rio Tinto said "Wildlife conservation is an important part of our commitment to communities ... we strive to minimise our risks and impacts to biodiversity, in line with regulatory commitments, our values and company policies."
The Monia Gap/Naradhan Alliance is having none of it, however.
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