Credible rejection of Chinese mine bid?

Google Earth view of Prominent Hill mine buildings (old)Prominent Hill open-cut gold and copper mine in 2008

The Prominent Hill mine is almost 200 kms from the town of Woomera as the crow flies, but less than that (maybe 100kms) from the ordinance target areas, by my calculations. I’ve used the maps and other information in the ‘Woomera capability brief’ to draw an overlay on a Google Earth image (click the first thumbnail). The closest marked ordinance target area to Prominent Hill the Parakylia ‘stand-off’ target area about 100kms north west of the Woomera township (second thumbnail).

But, as the ‘Capability Brief’ reveals in some detail, the Range is also used for some purposes that seem to need a very large testing range, much larger than would be used for ordinance. For example:

  • Tactical missile tests delivered by intercontinental U.S. (B-52 bomber) flights;
  • Tests of ground-to-air missiles with a long range;
  • Scram-jet (hpersonic jet) engines launched on rockets with 450km range;
  • Long-range surveillance-drone tests
Does this justify restricting foreign investors’ access to mines in a zone “the size of England”? Possibly. I just don’t know for sure. Does it justify restricting access specifically to Chinese-owned mining companies (but not, e.g. British-owned). Possibly. I’m skeptical, but it’s not implausible.

Here’s some more news of the first gold production at Prominent Hill in Feburary this year from the Coober Pedy Regional Times

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