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Flashcards in Rural Western Australia - Land degradation Deck (8)
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1

What deserts are present in Western Australia?

Deserts include the Great Sandy, Gibson, Great Victoria and Tanami which are created due to continentally. 

2

Name some mines in rural western Austrailia. 

Mines include Kintyre, Prominent Hill, Beverly, Kalgoorlie, Golden Mile and Olympic Dam. 

3

Economic opportunities created by arid environments.

How does m ining benefit local people? 

  • Copper and uranium mine at Olympic Dam (south of the Simpson Desert) employed 3000 people in 2005.
  • the Aboriginal Land Rights Act gives protection to the traditional owners of Aboriginal land and enables the Land Council to make agreements with mining companies, preventing conflict

  • The boom has resulted in a doubling of the number of jobs in mining and energy companies

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4

Economic opportunities created by arid environments.

How does mining bebefit Austrailia economically? 

  • The company operating the copper and uranium mine at Olympic Dam (south of the Simpson Desert) contributed $45million to the Australian Government in royalty payments, benefitting the region’s economy.
  • Primary production contributed 2.8% to the GDP in 2005-06, with 302,000 people being involved in agriculture

  • Mining on Aboriginal land contributes more than a billion dollars a year to the Northern Territory economy

  • Gold mining had a value of $5.2 billion in 2009 (Tropicana Gold Mine in the Great Victoria Desert). The Golden Mile was producing 20 tonnes of gold (2008-09)

5

How much investment does Austraila make into the mining industry? 

31% of Australian investment is in the mining industry (2011-12)

6

Social, economic and environmental challengescreated by development

What are the social impacts of development of western rural Austrailia? 

  • 42 people lost their lives from 2001-10 in mining, 14 of them being in gold mining. In total there has been 127 gold mining-related fatalities
  • Within 6 months of the Global Financial Crisis 15% of mining employees were lost

  • Proposed mining projects in Queensland could destroy almost 20,000 jobs across Queensland and Australia, mostly in manufacturing.

  • The Olympic Dam has increased housing prices due to the increased infrastructure and development surrounding the area, locals complain it is too high of a price to pay

7

Social, economic and environmental challenges created by development

What are the enviomental challenges of development of western rural Austrailia? 

  • Salinisation (evaporation of saltwater on the soil surface creating salt stacks and high concentrations of salt in agricultural soil due to tree clearing for agricultural land [EG in South Tammin District], increasing the water table) has the potential to devastate 12m hectares of land (rendering it useless), already costing.
  • Risk of water contamination from uranium and copper ores being crushed and treated with chemicals to concentrate the mineral content. Beverly uses an in situ leaching method to extract ore in which acids are forced into groundwater to dissolve and remove uranium. 

  • Low relief of the deserts means the mining operations (Kintyre, Prominent Hill, Beverly, Kalgoorlie and Olympic Dam) are visible for long distances creating an eyesore. Prominent Hill has a 1km wide, 50m deep mine which has a visual impact and has spoil heaps which scars the landscape and are a source of dust.

8

Social, economic and environmental challenges created by development

What are the economic challenges of development of western rural Austrailia? 

  • Mining is 83% foreign owned resulting in economic leakage
  • Copper ore from the Olympic Dam has to be trucked 560km to the port at Adelaide