Australia’s Northern Territory: red earth paved with gold? – by Andrew Tunnicliffe (Mining Technology – January 24, 2022)

Covering more than 1.3 million km2, around 17% of the Australia’s entire land mass, the Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s most alluring natural phenomena: Alice Springs, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the spectacular Uluru or Ayres Rock.

Its uniquely red terrain – cast against the often sunny skies – is awash with historical Aboriginal culture too; much of the land is owned by the Aboriginal people comprising a wide assortment of tribes. However, those cultures have often clashed with state and federal governments , particularly when it comes to matters associated with land and its use.

Although not in the Northern Territory, Australian-born Rio Tinto’s controversial work at Western Australia’s Juukan Gorge turned the spotlight on the conflict between the mining industry and Australians, particularly those of native heritage.

The destruction of ancient rock shelters was met with fury which ultimately led to the removal of several senior executives, including CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques, and could set a precedent for future relations between Aboriginal groups and miners in the Northern Territory

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