Traditional Owners welcome NT Government support at Jabiluka

Publish Date:
19th April 2024

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Mirarr Traditional Owners of the Jabiluka mineral lease area met with Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler and Mining Minster Mark Monahan in Darwin today. Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula, accompanied by her nephew Corben Mudjandi, travelled from Jabiru seeking an end to all talk of mining and certainty about the future of Jabiluka.

This meeting came after mining company Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) minority shareholder Willy Packer recently boasted about the prospect of future uranium mining at Jabiluka. Last month, ERA formally applied to extend the Jabiluka mineral lease for 10 years when it expires on 11 August this year.

Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula said: “We came to this meeting today for an answer. I am happy to say that the Territory Government understands we will never agree to mining at Jabiluka. My father said no, I’ve been saying no for over thirty years.”

While the Territory government has reserved its decision about the Jabiluka lease extension, the Chief Minister made it clear they have always supported the wishes of the Mirarr and continue to do so.

Corben Mudjandi explained: “The government said there’s no decision today but they are in full support of Mirarr people. We’re very relieved, its good that they are listening.”

Ultimately the decision about whether to extend the Jabiluka lease will be made with the advice of the Federal Minister for Resources, but today’s support from the Northern Territory gives the Mirarr re-assurance that they have been listened to. Mirarr have requested the NT Government make a special reservation of the Jabiluka land under Territory legislation pending a decision by the Commonwealth to incorporate the area within the Kakadu World Heritage Area.

For photos and background, contact: Kirsten Blair 0412 853 641