Showing posts with label mining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mining. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Another thing for NSW voters to remember as they cast their ballot in the 2019 state and federal elections


The Shenhua Group appear to have first approached the NSW O'Farrell Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government in 2011-2012 concerning its plans to mine for coal on the Liverpool Plains, a significant NSW foodbowl. 

This particular state government was the subject of not one but two investigations by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) - Operations Spicer (2014) and Credo (2014). 

After he was found to have misled the independent commission Premier O'Farrell resigned as Premier in April 2014 and as Liberal MP for Ku-ring-gai in March 2015. Similarly the then NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for the Central Coast, Special Minister of State and Liberal MP for Terrigal Chris Hartcher resigned as government minister in December 2013 after he was named in ICAC hearings and left the parliament in March 2015.

On 28 January 2015 the NSW Minister for Planning and Liberal MP for Goulburn Pru Goward granted development consent for a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Shenhua Group, Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd, to create and operate an open cut mine on the Liverpool Plains. 

On 4 July 2015 then Australian Minister for the Environment and Liberal MP for Flinders Greg Hunt ticked off on the Abbott Government's environmental approval for Shenhua Watermark Coal to proceed with its mining operation.

Glaringly obvious environmental risks associated with large-scale mining in the region and vocal local community opposition had led to a downsizing of the potential mine site, for which the  NSW Berejiklian Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government paid the Shenhua Group $262 million in compensation.
ABC News, 31 July 2015, projected new mine boundaries

However, in July 2018 the Berejiklian Government renewed Shenhua’s mining exploration licence.


Given that on the successive watches of the O'Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian governments instances of mismanagement and/or corrupt conduct in relation to water sustainability, mining leases and the environment have been reported one would think that an abundance of caution would be exercised.

Instead we now learn that that Shenhua Watermark Coal has been allowed to vary development consent conditions for the open cut mine on the edge of the flood plain and, it is looking increasingly like pro coalformer mining industry lawyer, current Australian Minister for the Environment and Liberal MP for Durack, Melissa Price, will wave through these variations on behalf of the Morrison Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government. 

Thereby placing even more pressure on the already stressed surface and underground water resources of the state.

The Liverpool Plains are said to be a significant groundwater source in the New South Wales section of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Lock The Gate Alliance, 8 January 2019:

The NSW Government has allowed mining company Shenhua to alter its development approval for the controversial Watermark open cut coal mine in the Liverpool Plains, near Gunnedah, which will enable work on site to begin without key management plans being approved.

Despite the NSW deal, Shenhua is still not able to commence work under the Federal environmental approval until two important management plans, including the crucial Water Management Plan, have been approved by the Federal Government.

Now local farmers are afraid that the Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, may be about to follow the NSW Government lead and vary the approval to allow Shenhua to start pre-construction for their mine without the management plans that were promised.

Liverpool Plains farmer John Hamparsum said, “We’re disgusted that the NSW Government has capitulated to Shenhua yet again, and amended the development consent to let them start pre-construction work without the crucial Water Management Plan in place.

"They have repeatedly stated that the best science would apply to this mine before any work was done, and now they’ve thrown that out the window.

"We’re calling on the Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, and New England MP, Barnaby Joyce to now step up and promise that not a sod will be turned on this mine until the full Water Management Plan has been developed and reviewed by independent scientists.

"This mine represents a massive threat to our water resources and our capacity to feed Australia, and if the National Party has any respect for agriculture they need to act now and deliver on their promise that the best science will be applied.

"We won’t accept creeping development of this mine and weakening of the conditions that were put in place to protect our precious groundwater," he said.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, "It’s been four years since the NSW and Federal Governments approved Shenhua’s Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains and there are still no management plans in place.

"Instead of upholding the conditions of Shenhua’s approval, the NSW Government has watered them down so that Shenhua can start work without these crucial plans in place.

"The community has a long memory and will not accept Governments changing the rules to the benefit of foreign-owned mining giants over local farmers," she said.

The former Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, made a strong commitment that a Water Management Plan for the project would not be approved unless the Independent Expert Scientific Committee was satisfied with it.

The amended NSW approval can be accessed here.

A legal perspective on the issues surrounding water management by Dr Emma Carmody, Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor, EDO NSW and Legal Advisor, Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, is included in the December 2018 issue of Law Society Journal,  Managing our scarce water resources: recent developments in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Monday, 14 January 2019

The Morrison Government has given permission for oil and gas exploration in NSW coastal waters by a company set up as a tax minimisation ploy


Those Liberal-Nationals MPs and senators preparing to return to Canberra late next month appear determined to annoy NSW voters - especially those who live in coastal communities.

Having wrecked the Murray-Darling freshwater river system that runs through four states, they have now turned their eyes towards the coastal commercial and recreational fishing grounds of New South Wales.

This is how it is playing out........

Asset Energy Pty Ltd holds an 85 per cent interest in Petroleum Exploration Permit PEP11an offshore petroleum exploration lease covering 4,649 square kilometres in Commonwealth waters off the coast of New South Wales.

Asset Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Melbourne-based (formerly Perth-based) mining company MEC Resources Ltd’s investee company Advent Energy Ltd.

Bounty Oil and Gas NL is the junior joint venture partner in PEP11 holding a 15 per cent interest

Newcastle Herald, 9 January 2019

In March 2018 the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (“NOPSEMA”) gave approval for a survey which acquired high resolution 2D seismic data over the Baleen prospect, approximately 30km southeast of Newcastle, which evaluated (amongst other things) shallow geohazard indications including shallow gas accumulations that can affect future potential gas drilling operations.

NOPSEMA falls within the portfolio of Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia & Nationals Senator for Queensland, Matt Canavan.

That particular survey has been completed and on New Year's Eve 2018 MEC Resources informed the Australian Stock Exchange that it now intends to do 3D seismic mapping in the vicinity of the potential test drill site at the earliest opportunity.

Underwater seismic testing involves continuous seismic airgun blasts approximately every 2-3 seconds for 24 hours continuously, for days or weeks at a time. That is, such testing creates compressed air streams or focused sonic waves - in simple language, loud booms - towards the ocean floor in order to gauge the depth, location and structure of the oil or gas resources. The sounds of which can travel many thousands of square kilometres and which are known to have a negative effect on marine ecosystems.

Previous to this, on 15 May 2018 the NSW Parliament had called on the federal government to suspend Asset Energy’s permit to conduct seismic testing off the coast of Newcastle, with the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy & Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Council Don Harwin expressing a lack of confidence in Australia’s current offshore mining regulations.

The Morrison Coalition Government in Canberra appears to be ignoring NSW Government  and community concerns. Being more concerned itself with offering tax free investment opportunities to the market.1

It is worth noting that any significant Advent Energy/Asset Energy drilling rig (left) mishap has the potential for an uncontrolled release of untreated oil into coastal waters.

It is reportedly intended that one or more exploration drilling rigs should be in place sometime in 2020.

MEC Resources (formerly MEC Strategic Ltd) is a registered corporation which only been in existence for the last thirteen years and for the last three years there has been a bitter rift between the board and certain shareholders involving repeated calls for removal of the entire board, with the last call for a spill occurring in November 2018. The company was also involved in a dispute with a former managing director, as well litigation involving a $295,000 loan.

One of the shareholder bones of contention appears to be the cost of exploration in PEP11. On 31 October 2018 MEC Resources informed the stock exchange that a cost reduction plan remains in place to ensure all costs are reduced wherever possible.

Questions raised about the rigour of offshore mining regulations covering PEP11 and an oil & gas exploration company determined to cut costs. What could possibly go wrong? 

Concerned readers can sign Stop Seismic Testing Newcastle's change.org petition to Minister Canavan and NOPSEMA here.

Footnotes

1. www.mecresources.com.au, Tax Advanatges, retrieved 10 January 2018:

MEC is a registered Pooled Development Fund (PDF). PDF shareholders pay no capital gains tax on the sale of their PDF shares. Investors who receive dividends will also be exempt from income tax on dividends.

This can be particularly attractive to both traders and investors, since any profits derived from trades or investments are tax-free or low tax. The Pooled Development Fund Programme was established by the Federal Government to develop the market for patient venture capital for growing small and medium enterprises and to provide a concessional tax regime to encourage such investments. Any capital losses on the sale of PDF’s are not deductable.

To encourage investors, the government offers tax benefits to both the PDF and its shareholders as follows:
capital gains made by PDF shareholders are not taxable,
shareholders can elect to treat dividends paid by a PDF as tax free,......

PDF’s tend to invest in a portfolio of growing companies, thereby potentially reducing investors’ risk through diversification. Investee companies have the potential to become listed companies in their own right, which has the possibility of providing investors with attractive returns.

This is not a complete list of the taxation issues surrounding Pooled Development Funds. For further information please contact AusIndustry.

See  Pooled Development FundsAct 1992 as amended up to September 2018.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Adani caught red handed breaking the rules - again



In 2017 the foreign multinational, the Adani Group, was found to have released heavily polluted water into coastal wetlands and the ocean around the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area - then lied about it.

Last Sunday it was reported to again be ignoring mining and environmental regulations and very predictably appears to be lying about its actions.

ABC News, 30 December 2018:

Mining firm Adani has unwittingly provided "persuasive" evidence for a Queensland Government investigation into allegedly illegal works on its Carmichael mine site, environmental lawyers say.

The evidence includes specifications of groundwater bores registered by Adani on a government website, which Queensland's Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) said could only be used for prohibited dewatering operations, and not for monitoring as Adani has claimed.

Adani has also confirmed it cleared 5.8 hectares of land when correcting an "administrative error" in its reporting to government, an action the EDO branded unlawful.

A spokeswoman for Adani insisted the company had acted in accordance with its environmental approvals, had not been dewatering for mining operations, and had "cooperated with both relevant State and Commonwealth departments regarding these allegations".


Satellite and drone evidence of drilling was presented to DES by the EDO on behalf of its client, environmental group Coast and Country.

Coast and Country spokesman Derec Davies said the evidence had resulted in an official investigation by the Queensland Government.

"Adani have been caught red handed breaking the law, and then lying about it within official documents," he said.

Dewatering bores are used by miners to prepare for open cut and underground operations.


An Adani spokeswoman said the company had drilled the bores "to take geological samples and monitor underground water levels", which she said was permitted as a stage one activity under its licence.

However, an expert has told the ABC the registrations for five of the bores that appear on a Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy website bear the hallmarks of dewatering bores, not monitoring bores.

They show the bores are constructed with steel rather than plastic casing, were considerably thicker than Adani's registered groundwater monitoring bores and ran deeper at 135 to 273 metres.

The bore reports did not include the baseline underground water level or the elevation of each bore, information considered critical for monitoring.

The five registered bores are also ascribed the abbreviation "DWB", commonly used for dewatering bores, instead of "GMB", commonly used for groundwater monitoring bores.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Why proposed offshore mining in the Great Australian Bight matters to all of Australia


The Advertiser, 18 January 2015

BP p.l.c. is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in LondonUK.
It operates in this country as BP Australia and Chevron.

On 11 October 2016 this multinational corporation announced it was not proceeding with its exploration drilling programme in the Great Australian Bight (GAB), offshore South Australia, in the foreseeable future.

It still owns two oil/gas exploration leases in the GAB.

The Norwegian multinational Equinor formerly Statoil Petroleum also holds two leases in the same area and intends to drill an exploratory well in one of them by October this year.

Last year in October the Morrison Coalition Government offered a new GAB acreage S18-1 for lease, with bids closing on 21 March 2019.

So it is well to remember how Big Oil views Australia…….

The Age, 6 April 2018:

Coastal towns would benefit from an oil spill in the pristine Great Australian Bight because the clean up would boost their economies, energy giant BP has claimed as part of its controversial bid to drill in the sensitive marine zone.

BP, which has since withdrawn the drilling plan, also told a federal government agency that a diesel spill would be considered “socially acceptable”.

BP made the statements in an environment plan submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority in March 2016.

The company had been seeking to drill two wells off the South Australian coast, raising fears of an environmental disaster akin to BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws, first published by London-based website Climate Home News, showed the government authority had identified serious shortcomings with BPs environment plan.

In a letter to BP, the authority said a number of statements should be removed or supported by analysis. They included BP's claim that “in most instances, the increased activity associated with cleanup operations will be a welcome boost to local economies”.

BP also claimed it had not identified any social impacts arising from the event of a diesel spill and “since there are no unresolved stakeholder concerns ... BP interprets this event to be socially acceptable”.

The Guardian, 6 April 2018:

In 2016, BP released modelling showing a spill could hit land as far away as New South Wales. The letters revealed that BP’s “worst case shoreline oiling scenario predicts oiling of 650km coastline ​at 125 days after the spill, increasing to 750km after 300 days”. Nopsema had raised concerns over BP’s ability to mobilise the people and equipment needed to clean up such a vast expanse of coast.

ABC News, 14 November 2018:

If an oil spill happened in the Great Australian Bight, it could reach as far east as Port Macquarie's beaches, two thirds of the way up the New South Wales coast, according to a leaked draft environment plan obtained by the ABC.

Under a "worst credible case discharge" scenario, more than 10 grams of oil per square metre could wash up on some of Australia's coasts, according to the document authored by Norwegian oil company Equinor.

Maps show coastal areas that could potentially be impacted, from above Sydney to Albany in Western Australia.

Environmental group Greenpeace, which obtained the leaked draft Oil Pollution Emergency Plan, said it was the first time modelling had shown an oil spill could reach so far....








BACKGROUND

Greenpeace, Crude Intentions: Exposing the risks of drilling and spilling in the Great Australian Bight [48 page PDF]

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

While North Coast Voices was on its annual break….


On Christmas Eve the Morrison Government released the following:


By the time a reader clicks on this link, http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/publicnoticesreferrals/,
there will only be 8-9 days left to submit comments.

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In what they are now trying to pass off as an attempt at humour the Liberal National Party of Australia posted this petty, divisive Christmas meme on their Facebook page.



Tone deaf and abysmally stupid was the general consensus.

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The Guardian, 26 December 2018:

A man has been shot by police in New South Wales after he allegedly lunged at officers with a knife, and has been taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Police were called to a home in Waterview Heights, west of Grafton, in the early hours of Wednesday morning following concern for the 36-year-old’s welfare.
Police said he lunged at officers with the knife upon their arrival.
The man was flown to Gold Coast University hospital in a critical condition.
A critical incident team will investigate the circumstances of the incident.

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Stock market volatility continued over the Christmas break as President Donald Trump tweets further personal attacks on the US Federal Reserve and its personnel. Mr Trump's latest attack heightened fears about the economy being destabilised by a man who wants control over the Fed.

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Another young child died whilst being held in custody of US Customs and Border Protection. Eight year-old Felix Alonzo-Gomez died on December 25th after a medical diagnosis of “common cold” proved inaccurate. The boy's death follows that of  7 year old Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, also of Guatemala, who died in Border patrol custody earlier this month. 
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SBS News, 26 December 2018:

The Coalition could be at risk of losing 24 seats at the next federal election, including those of six frontbenchers, according to a Newspoll quarterly analysis. The analysis, published in The Australian, reveals the government has failed to claw back electoral ground from Labor in both regional and metropolitan seats. While Prime Minister Scott Morrison remains ahead of Bill Shorten as preferred leader, his satisfaction ratings have dropped into the negatives.

According to this Newspoll survey analysis covering 25 October to 9 December 2018, 45% of voters over 50 years of age dissatisfied with Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison’s performance.

On a two-party preferred basis, polling stands at Labor 53 and Lib-Nats Coalition 47.
Rumours of an early March election, to be called just after Australia Day, persist according to The Guardian.
@nobby15


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@Quad_Finn, 27 December 2018:

Japan has announced its first commercial whale hunt since leaving the IWC. The hunt will take place in July 2019 and will target Endangered Sei whales along with Minke whales & Bryde’s whales. It is not known how many whales of each species Japan intends to kill each season. 

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On Thursday 27 December 2018 Marble Bar in the Pilbarra, Western Australia experienced it's hottest day on record reaching 49.3C at 3.40pm.
           
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The Daily Examiner, 28 December 2018, p.1:

The $300,000 fine issued to Clarence Valley Council by the NSW Land and Environment Court last week for the destruction of a rare Aboriginal object in Grafton will be reinvested into the area, rather than go back into State Government revenue coffers.

The court’s ruling handed down on December 21 included a series of detailed orders as part of the penalty that includes several Clarence-based directives that were reached after consultation with the Local Aboriginal Lands Councils and community members.

It is believed this case is the first of its kind to be ordered with this directive.
The council was prosecuted for the unlawful maiming and removal of a red/black bean scar tree that occurred in 2013 and 2016. The tree, which stood on the corner of Breimba and Dovedale streets in Grafton and was a surviving original specimen from the flood plain before white settlement, was a registered culturally modified object under the Aboriginal Site Register.

The council will pay the fine amount of $300,000 to the Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council which will be applied to remediation actions.

These include a feasibility study to establish a Keeping Place in the Grafton area for Aboriginal cultural heritage items including long-term storage for the scar tree remnants.

It will also provide research funding into local Aboriginal cultural heritage for educational purposes including training of council field staff and senior management.
The money will also be used to establish a permanent exhibition and fund a series of one-day Clarence Valley Healing Festivals to be held in various Clarence Valley Aboriginal communities throughout 2019 and 2020.

The council was also ordered to, at its own expense, publish a notice in several newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Koori Mail and The Daily Examiner and on the council’s website and Facebook pages.

Additional costs include a $48,000 legal bill which will bring the total costs to the council to more than $350,000.

The council was convicted of the offence against s 86(1) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 of harming an object that it knew was an Aboriginal object.

The original fine was $400,000 but an early plea of guilty made council eligible for a 25 per cent discount on the penalty. The council potentially faced a penalty of up to $1.1million for its actions.

Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said the council agreed it had done the wrong thing by removing the scar tree and accepted the court’s decision.

“As the mayor and I have said previously, we acknowledge the importance of the scar tree to our Aboriginal community and are deeply sorry for the hurt and sense of loss the removal of the tree has caused,” Mr Lindsay said.

“The tree’s destruction does not represent who we are or who we strive to be as an organisation.

“This council values its connections with the Aboriginal community and I genuinely believe we generally work well together.

“But on this occasion we did the wrong thing and for that we apologise.”

BACKGROUND


A scar tree is harmed

1. Until May 2016, a culturally modified tree stood in Grafton, on the corner of Breimba and Dovedale Streets. The tree was either a Red Bean or Black Bean tree. It had a bifurcated trunk with scarring on two parts of it. The larger scar faced a south westerly direction and was approximately 1.4m tall and 40cm wide. The smaller scar faced a westerly direction and was higher up the trunk.

2. Various reasons for the scarring have been passed down by the knowledge holders to local Aboriginal people. Aboriginal elders have said that the scar tree is culturally significant to the local Gumbaynggirr people and that the scarring was made using a stone axe either as a directional marker directing visitors to nearby Fisher Park, or for ceremonial purposes in connection with other sites in the area, or by someone wanting to make a shield.

3. In 1995, the scar tree was registered as a culturally modified tree on the Aboriginal Site Register. In 2005, the information about the scar tree was transferred from the Aboriginal Site Register to the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (“AHIMS”) maintained by the Office of Environment and Heritage (“OEH”). The scar tree was thereby identified as an Aboriginal object for the purposes of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (“NPW Act”). Under s 86(1) of the NPW Act, it is an offence for a person to harm or desecrate an object that the person knows is an Aboriginal object.
4. The local government authority for Grafton and the Clarence Valley,  Clarence Valley Council  (“the Council”), lopped the crown of the scar tree in July 2013. The Council was issued with and paid a penalty notice for harming an Aboriginal object, in breach of s 86(2) of the NPW Act.

5. The lopping of the scar tree exacerbated the decline in the health of the tree. In 2015, the Council included the scar tree on the Council’s annual stump grinding list for removal of the tree. On 19 May 2016, the Council completely removed the scar tree. The scar tree was cut into four pieces, including a cut through the lower scar. Remnants of the scar tree were taken to the Council’s nursery in Grafton. On 20 May 2016, the Council realised what it had done and self-reported to the OEH that, in completely removing the scar tree, it had harmed an Aboriginal object in breach of s 86(1) of NPW Act.

6. On 27 May 2016, the OEH after an investigation of the offence, seized the remnants of the scar tree pursuant to s 156B(4) of the NPW Act. On 9 June 2016, the remnants of the scar tree were relocated to the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s premises at South Grafton, where they remain today.

Full judgment is here.

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Perth Now, 30 December 2018:

Four months after losing the leadership spill he instigated, Peter Dutton has broken his silence in an extraordinary spray at Malcolm Turnbull.

Calling the deposed prime minister spiteful and indecisive, the Home Affairs Minister told Brisbane's The Sunday Mail that Mr Turnbull had brought about his own downfall through his lack of political nous.

"Malcolm had a plan to become Prime Minister but no plan to be Prime Minister," was Mr Dutton's damning evaluation.

He also criticised the former leader for actions he saw as undermining the Morrison government.

"I am the first to defend the legacy of the Turnbull government. Malcolm was strong on economic management, borders and national security, but Malcolm will trash his own legacy if he believes his position is strengthened by seeing us lose under Scott (Morrison),'' Mr Dutton said.

He excoriated Mr Turnbull for not supporting the Liberal Party's candidate in his old seat of Wentworth.

"Walking away from (his seat of) Wentworth and not working to have (Liberal Wentworth candidate) Dave Sharma elected was worse than any behaviour we saw even under (former Labor prime minister Kevin) Rudd."


Stating emphatically that he wasn't a stalking horse for former leader Tony Abbott or a right wing "Bible basher", Mr Dutton said Mr Turnbull's poor management had lost the Libs 15 seats in the 2016 election, leaving the government "with a one-seat majority which just made the parliament unmanageable. We were paralysed.".....

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Unanswered questions at the start of 2019. 

The last federal general election was on 2 July 2016. A year later and the Federal Liberal Party was still $3,711,956 in debt. 

Has the party managed to pay down this debt and how much money have they received as political donations since 1 July 2017?

One might safely assume that sacked prime minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull will not be personally donating $1,750,000 to the Liberal Party this time around and one wonders if the banks were as generous with their donations once the Royal Commission began requesting their presence at public hearings.

This is the last available donor list. Will the corporations on this list still back the Liberal Party so strongly? 


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Castillo Copper Limited operations suspended on exploration leases in the Clarence Valley NSW


Clarence Environment Centre brings welcome news as 2018 ends.

Castillo Copper Limited operations at Cangai, in the Mann River Catchment, Clarence Valley NSW have been suspended on the grouns that there is: a lack of sediment and erosion controls; poor management of drill cuttings/waste materials; clearing and excavation works undertaken outside of approved limits; the drilling of five bore holes without approval; and a failure to progressively rehabilitate in approved time frames.

https://www.scribd.com/document/396200281/Castillo-Copper-Limited-Operations-Suspended-at-Cangai-NSW-21-December-2018

Friday, 21 December 2018

State of Play December 2018: Adani Group and the proposed Carmichael Mine in Queensland



Financial Review, 20 December 2018:

Ten of the world's top insurance companies, including Australian groups Suncorp and QBE and global insurer AXA, say they won't insure Indian energy group Adani's controversial $2 billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, an activist group says.
Market Forces, an anti-fossil fuel activist group backed by Friends of the Earth, also said AXA had indicated it would not renew its current insurance covering the Carmichael rail line when it comes up in March 2020.

Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent said the Paris-based global insurer had said in response to inquiries that: "Regarding the Carmichael mine, we confirm that: 'We do not currently cover the Carmichael mine's assets, neither directly nor through packages, and we do not intend to do so in the future; We currently have a multi-year policy to partly cover the railway asset which will lapse in 2020 and which we shall not renew.'"

AXA also said Adani's Carmichael project "is a banned investment both for our equity and fixed income holdings"…..

Market Forces asked global insurers about their attitude to the Carmichael project, after a successful campaign to dissuade Australian and global banks from backing the mine resulted in it being shrunk to a fraction of its original $16.5 billion size and self-financed by Adani.

Other companies that explicitly refused to insure the mine or previously pledged not to provide cover for new coal projects include the world's biggest insurers and reinsurers, Allianz, AXA, Swiss Re and Munich Re; the first major US insurer to take action on coal, FM Global; and major European insurers Generali, Zurich and SCOR.

Other major insurers have not ruled out insuring the project, including many American insurers, so Adani will still likely be able to secure insurance. These include Hannover Re, Berkshire Hathaway and AIG......

ABC News, 18 December 2018:

The CSIRO has found serious flaws in Adani's key water management plan to protect an ancient springs complex near its proposed Carmichael coal mine, threatening to further delay the controversial project.

The ABC can reveal Australia's peak scientific body has raised concerns about Adani's Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP), which is designed to minimise impacts on ecosystems including the nationally important Doongmabulla Springs.

The Federal Department of Environment and Energy asked the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia for an independent scientific review of Adani's GDEMP.

The ABC understands one of the CSIROS's key concerns is the level of groundwater draw-down that could be caused at the springs by the mine's operations.

Conservationists and some scientists warn the springs could permanently dry up under Adani's plan to drain billions of litres of groundwater a year for its proposed mine.

The source of the ancient springs remains in doubt…..


The CSIRO also found that some of the data used by Adani in its plan was not verified.

The CSIRO has told the federal environment department that Adani needs to do more work on its GDEMP and to verify its data.

The ABC understands Queensland's Department of Environment and Science (DES) wrote to Adani last week saying it will not look at the company's GDEMP again until the concerns raised by the CSIRO are resolved.

In August the ABC revealed the mining giant's most recent draft plan to protect the Doongmabulla Spring failed to address regulator demands to protect the oasis.

"The GDEMP needs to identify the source aquifer of the Doongmabulla Spring Complex and mitigation measures to protect the springs," the DES told the ABC in statement.

"Preliminary advice from CSIRO requires Adani to update the plan.

"Two environmental plans still need to be approved before significant disturbance can commence at the Carmichael Coal Mine.

"These plans are the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan and a Black Throated Finch Management Plan.

"The Queensland Government has been clear that the [mine] project must stack up on its own merits, both financially and environmentally."

Last month Adani announced construction would begin on the Carmichael mine, with company chief executive Lucas Dow saying the project would be "100 per cent financed" from within the Adani conglomerate.

But the mine would be significantly scaled back, with production expected to peak at 28 million tonnes compared to the projected 60 million tonnes under the original plan.