Australian Northern Territory to permanently ban seabed mining

The government’s announcement of the permanent ban on seabed mining comes after an almost decade-long moratorium on the destructive practice.

The decision, announced earlier this month, has been welcomed by conservationists, traditional owner representatives and the territory’s mining lobby.

The territory’s environment minister, Eva Lawler, said to the Guardian: “Our natural environment is one of our best assets and it’s a large part of what makes living in the territory so special.”

The Aboriginal Area’s Protection Authority told the Guardian it had requested the moratorium be extended, and fully supported the government’s decision to replace the block with a permanent ban. “Even small-scale seabed mining activities may interfere with or damage marine sacred sites,” it said in a statement.

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