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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2054

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(11.04) —That will become clearer when the regime to apply to the conservation zone is announced in all its detail, which I hope will be quite soon. Coronation Hill is within the geographical area of the conservation zone at the moment rather than within any of the area identified as part of the national park. It is intended in due course that Coronation Hill be excised, if you like, and a mining interest there created which will be, I suppose, analogous with that of Ranger to the north, provided that-this is a very important proviso-all the necessary approvals are granted, based on the environmental impact statement and a very full evaluation of the impact of this particular project on the region.

The Coronation Hill people are still engaged in finalising their exploration program, in appraisal of the scope and extent of the resource and in general development planning. I do not think that there has yet been a formal application made for a mining licence as such. That is yet to come. It is in the process of preparation at the moment. Its status at the moment is essentially that of an existing exploration interest, but we have foreshadowed a willingness to give it that sort of excised status if it satisfies all the criteria that have been identified publicly.

Senator Durack —Including that of national economic significance?

Senator GARETH EVANS —We are working on the assumption, on the basis of information now to hand, that it would seem to satisfy that description, that the scale and the size of the resource is of a character to satisfy that description. That is the premise on which the exercise has been proceeding so far.