About Mintabie

Mintabie is a former remote opal mining town in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia.

For some decades, the Mintabie township has been leased to the South Australian Government by APY. In June 2019 the South Australian Government terminated its lease with APY. Following the settlement of a Federal Court action in November 2019, the South Australian Government has committed that the town is closed by 31 December 2019.

APY has informed the South Australian Governerment and the Mintabie residents that it does not intend to authorise Mintabie residents to reside at Mintabie or elsewhere on the APY Lands.

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Termination of the Mintabie township lease

Following the 2017 review of the Mintabie township lease the South Australian Government decided to uphold the decision made by the former government in February 2018 to terminate the lease.

Consequently, the Minister for Energy and Mining wrote to the APY on 28 June 2018 to notify his intention to terminate the lease.

To give residents time to make alternative arrangements, the date for termination of the lease was 30 June 2019.

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Health services

The Marla Health Service is located at 8 Cockatoo Crescent, Marla, SA 5274 and can be contacted by phone: 08 8670 7007.

For emergency calls or evacuations, call the Royal Flying Doctor Service: 1800 RFDS SA on 1800 733 772.

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SA Police

For community safety SA Police provides a visible and responsive police service.

The Marla Police Station is fully staffed. Residents should call 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance, or 000 in an emergency.

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Mintabie precious stones field

Opal mining within the Mintabie precious stones field

Although claim and permit holders authorised under the Opal Mining Act 1995 can access and operate on the Mintabie precious stones field there are certain conditions that must be met:

Review of Mintabie precious stones field

Key stakeholders, including the opal mining industry and the APY Executive Board, were given the opportunity to put forward their views by a submission to the Department for Energy and Mining. Submissions closed on 31 October 2018.

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Mintabie Oversight Committee

The Mintabie Oversight Committee was established by the then Minister for Energy and Mining to provide him with advice, and also for the then Premier as the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, so that the South Australian Government can:

  • meet its obligations resulting from the termination of the Mintabie lease; and
  • ensure the orderly transition of control of the township land to APY.

The Mintabie Oversight Committee is independently chaired and represents the APY Board and the South Australian and Australian Governments.

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Opportunities for APY communities

Closure of the Mintabie Township is expected to have a range of positive social and economic impacts for APY, including the health and wellbeing of Anangu.

APY Executive has notified the South Australian Government that it does not intend to issue permits for people to reside at Mintabie.

The South Australian Government is working closely with APY to determine the appropriate remediation that would be required for the township area, and the local jobs and training opportunities that will be made available in undertaking this work.

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