Martin Pritchard, a director of Environs Kimberley, says a ban on bauxite mining in the area needs to be formalised, adding that he didn’t believe there were any serious plans to go ahead with development in the region.

Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s proposed site is located 115km south west of Kalumburu and is surrounded by national parks.

The two mining giants are calling for an extension of the State Agreement and the government needs to make a decision by the year-end. Premier Colin Barnet has already told both mining companies that they were dreaming if they thought they were going to develop the site.

The Association of Mining & Exploration Companies has called for a review of the mineral-rich region’s development, stating that approvals and planning should not be done on an ad-hoc basis.