A five million hectare slice of Western Australia's Kimberley region will become the country's largest national park after the State Government struck a deal forever banning mining in the iconic Mitchell Plateau.
After extensive negotiations, a 45-year state agreement that gave Rio Tinto rights to mine bauxite and Alcoa the right to refine aluminium on the Mitchell Plateau has been cancelled.
No further mining or exploration will be permitted in the 175,000 hectare area, which will be included in the new five million hectare Kimberley National Park which includes a network of land and marine parks.
Premier Colin Barnett said thanks to the agreement, the "extraordinary" landscape would be preserved, delivering a major conservation outcome.
"I genuinely believe that this is the most significant conservation achievement in Western Australian history," Mr Barnett said.
Legislation will be introduced into Parliament this week to cancel the state agreement.
Mr Barnett expected it would have bipartisan support.
The park will incorporate two million hectares of land in the Kimberley, taking in the current Prince Regent, Mitchell River and Lawley River national parks.
Source: ABC News Photo credit: Matt Brann (ABC Rural)