Greens MLC Mark Parnell has described the decision by Environment Minister Peter Garrett to approve the 4 Mile in-situ leaching mine as a deeply disappointing betrayal of SA’s environment that will leave a toxic legacy for generations.

“The Beverley Four Mile Project will deliberately infuse sulphuric acid into a publicly owned water aquifer, and then after they have finished, the mining company intends to walk away without doing any rehabilitation of the precious groundwater resource,” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.


“The in–situ leaching process is highly controversial – with very good reason. Pumping acid into the soil and aquifers will leave behind acid and radioactive wastes for many years to come. For this reason, no acid leach mine has ever been allowed to operate in the USA, and in Eastern Europe groundwater has been left heavily polluted.

“Yet, despite the terrible record overseas, the State and Federal Governments continue to turn a blind eye to this massive abuse of the State’s water aquifers. To not even require the company to do even basic rehabilitation is simply scandalous,” he said. 


In making the approval announcement, Minister Garrett talked about ‘strict’ monitoring requirements ‘well after the mine ceases’. 

“Radioactive materials survive for thousands of years.  Will the company be required to have ‘strict’ monitoring for that long?

“This is a deeply disappointing decision that will leave a toxic legacy for future generations to deal with,” he said.

2 replies »

  1. It is almost unbelievable that Australia’s government can give approval to this project!

    In the first place no thorough going environmental impact statement has been done, yet the process of in-situ leaching is known for its toxic effect on groundwater, and hence is banned even in the USA – home of nuclear hype.

    Australia – the driest country has one great water resource – The Great Artesian Basin – and yet this government is prepared to let it be polluted.

    Secondly – Peter Garrett, Australia’s so-called “Minister for the Environment” is the same man who said, on 60 Minutes in 2006:
    – ” Nuclear is a dirty word because the stuff ends up in nuclear weapons, because the waste is highly toxic, highly carcinogenic, lasts for incredibly long periods of time….. ”

    Why would Australians support an industry that produces radioactive waste, toxic waste? Why would you support an industry which leaves you with the long-term problem of having to take care of that waste”

    Thirdly, this Government was voted in largely because it was supposed to stand for a safe environmental future for Australia. A large factor in the election was Labor’s anti- nuclear power stance, – and Peter Garrett as a hero of the anti-nuclear movement.

    What a joke! – we might as well have kept John Howard. At least we knew that he represented corporate power and the USA’s military-industrial complex. And we thought that Labor would be different!

  2. I agree christina. Our pollies are weak and bow to the power of short term money. And this money can never re-mediate the damage. It is therefore unsustainable, but leaves long-term destruction. But we have been saying this for decades, been proven correct, and still it continues.

    BTW, the Pedy Times is one of the best paper sites I have visited. Great stories that one doesn’t get at other sites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s