A mining company has faced the Darwin Magistrates Court over the alleged desecration of an Aboriginal sacred site in the Northern Territory.
The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority has made eight charges against manganese miner OM Mining, alleging three counts of desecration and five counts of damage and causing distress at a sacred site.
The charges relate to operations of the miner at the Bootu Creek manganese mine, 170 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, in the period from March to October last year.
It is alleged that mining around, and adjacent to, the sacred site, known to Aboriginal custodians as "Two Women Sitting Down" led to considerable damage to the site.
Being found guilty of desecration of an Aboriginal sacred site incurs a penalty of $274,000 per instance.
The parties will return to court for a three-week hearing in March.