Straits drilling approval overturned

Company News

The Supreme Court of South Australia has overturned the approval given to Straits Resources Limited (ASX:SRQ) to go ahead with a drilling project in the Stuart Shelf region – an Aboriginal heritage site.
The South Australian minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation gave Straits and its joint venture partner Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) approval on July 7 last year to gain access to the Torrens tenement for an exploratory drilling program.
But under the Aboriginal Heritage Act, the minister’s power can be vetoed by Traditional Owners of the land upon their request.
Argonaut chairman Patrick Elliott says it’s a disappointing outcome, and The Act has the potential to prevent any development in South Australia on land where Traditional Ownership can be asserted.
He also says he’s disappointed Straits has spent several million dollars and years on legal fees.
In the 2011 financial year Straits Resources booked a net loss of $19 million.

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