Four days before the Morrison government was due to decide the future of a mining development in the takayna/Tarkine, 77-year-old Frits Harmsen planted a camping chair in front of trucks on an unsealed road snaking through Australia’s largest temperate rainforest.
Harmsen, a former French horn player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, was part of a small band of Bob Brown-endorsed protesters who on Friday began a 19th day attempting to block work by MMG, a majority Chinese-owned minerals company, in Tasmania’s remote north-west.
Up the road, the mining giant was attempting to carry out drilling and other testing for what it hopes will become a much larger project – a new pipeline and waste storage facility near the town of Rosebery.
MMG says a new tailings dam is needed to extend the life of an 85-year-old zinc, copper and lead mine that employs about 500 staff and contractors.
If the dam is approved, the company expects to clear up to 285 hectares – roughly equivalent to 350 football pitches – of rainforest and other terrain for both the South Marionoak dam and a 3.5km pipe that would carry toxic waste from the mine across the Pieman River.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jun/06/where-mining-meets-rainforest-the-battle-for-tasmanias-tarkine