Funny – I go through the uranium so-called news each day. What I find there is a succession of obvious handouts from the uranium lobby, presumably to grateful journalists, who don’t bother to check the accuracy of these uranium market forecasts . Article after article has glowing predictions for the financial boom to come, (just a little later) from investing in uranium.
Nearly every article concentrates on China.And, I think to myself. Do these uranium dreamers ever consider that the Chinese might be intelligent? That they might notice how unpopular nuclear power has become globally, and the reasons why (- economic, and safety). Yes, China is reported as planning to expand its nuclear power programme. Oh goody! They might want our uranium! But what if China wakes up to the dismal outlook for nuclear, elsewhere.
But never mind. The Australian media dutifully regurgitates the China uranium-buying boom to come, – no mention of the other countries (especially India’s political mess over nuclear power). We carefully ignore the nuclear decline in Germany, Switzerland, USA, UK, even France.
However, the poor old uranium lobby still thinks itself to be hardly done by Australia’s government and media.- Christina Macpherson
Marathon Resources Chairman , Peter Williams, lambasts Government on resources industry attitude – today’s A.G.M. 22 Nov 12,
“……..The overwhelming influence of environmental and heritage activists and bureaucrats in South Australia in recent years, supported by Government, has seen the pendulum swing far away from balanced development and economic growth….
The SA Government’s actions in the North Flinders have jeopardised the State’s reputation as a safe place for resource investment…. ”
High costs stall Olympic Dam BY: SARAH MARTIN, SA POLITICAL REPORTER : The Australian November 14, 2012 BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers says the Olympic Dam mine will not be expanded until the high-cost environment in Australia improves, with the resources industry overheated by too much demand.
The South Australian Labor government yesterday granted the miner an extension until October 2016 to its existing indenture agreement for the shelved mine expansion, in line with the project’s environmental approvals….. subscription only http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/high-costs-stall-olympic-dam/story-e6frg9df-1226516169013
BHP Billiton should have a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for controversial heap leach uranium mining
“No approval is sought to implement these initiatives at this stage” [original EIS] ”
“He has given environmental approval for one type of mining process, and has now said he will allow that approval to stand for a completely different processing technique using a novel technology that has yet to be invented, without any further assessment”. “It is simply outrageous that BHP Billiton is not being asked to seek further approvals for this completely different mining method. “
The Greens will move today to disallow the extension of the Olympic Dam Indenture approval until October 2016.
New Roxby method needs a new Roxby EIS Greens Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell has questioned whether Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis has the capacity to do his job, and has demanded a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assessment of the proposed brand new processing option of ‘acid heap leaching’ at Olympic Dam be conducted before the project is allowed to commence.
The call comes in response to Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis’s false claims on ABC 891 radio this morning that it was always BHP Billiton’s intention to shift to the ‘heap leaching’ process and this had been covered in the EIS:
(David Bevan: But if they’re looking at a new technology, a new way of doing this, won’t you need a new Environmental Impact Statement?) Koutsantonis: Well, no, because BHP has foreseen that in the next, you know, five to six to seven years they may have been switching to this technique. (Abraham: Was that covered by the Environmental Impact Statement?) It was, yes.
Yet in over 7,000 pages of the original EIS, the Supplementary EIS and the Government’s response to the EIS, the only mention of heap leaching is:
The feasibility of heap leaching of the lower-grade ore at Olympic Dam is under investigation. At this early stage, recoveries of copper and uranium from heap leaching appear too low, but this option continues to be investigated. Read more »
South Australian government jumps to obey BHP? Greens will oppose extension of Olympic Dam Expansion Indenture Agreement.
The Weatherill Government has agreed to an extension of the starting date for the project in the controversial contract until October 2016.
“The Indenture was a dud deal for South Australia when we debated this in Parliament last year, and will still be a dud deal in 4 years’ time,” said Greens Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell.
“Instead of again meekly accepting whatever the world’s richest resource company wants, the Government should seize the opportunity to start renegotiating terms to expand local procurement, increase royalty returns and improve environmental outcomes.
“The project appears years away. Yet, the Government has recklessly locked in last century environmental outcomes decades into the future.
“BHP Billiton appears to be moving further and further away from job-rich local processing, and yet has still managed to lock in a feeble ‘production based’ royalty rate for 45 years.
“Surely it would be better to finalise the Olympic Dam Expansion contract with BHP Billiton when the project is actually guaranteed to begin?
“That will ensure royalty rates, local processing and procurement targets and environmental conditions are based on the expectations, rules and operating conditions of the day, not locked in years ahead,” he said.
Uranium One’s CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript Seeking Alpha November 6, 2012 “…..This upcoming discussion does contain certain forward-looking information with respect to Uranium One’s operations and financial results. Actual future results may differ from expected results for a variety of reasons which are described in the cautionary statements regarding forward-looking information in our press release..
… during the quarter, we did determine that it would not be economical to mine, the South Zarechnoye satellite deposit due to lower uranium prices following the Fukushima incident together with a decrease in the resource base
resulting from recent exploration work.
As a result, we incurred non-cash expenses $79 million by writing down the carrying value of South Zarechnoye. This resulted in a net loss for the quarter of $61.6 million or $0.06 per share…… Uranium One now owns 100% of the Honeymoon mine
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) find S.A.’s solar rooftop energy is lowering mains consumption
Thanks in part to the state’s solar feed in tariffs, currently at nearly 26c per kilowatt hour for new participants for any surplus electricity exported to the mains grid; South Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop PV of all the National Electricity Market (NEM) states.
Solar Driving Down South Australia’s Mains Electricity Consumption http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3448 by Energy Matters, 31 Oct A report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows a substantial drop in demand for mains grid supplied electricity in South Australia. Read more »
How wind is changing the energy game in South Australia REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 31 October 2012 Nowhere in Australia has wind energy had as much of an impact on the existing electricity infrastructure as in South Australia. According to the latest figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator, wind energy accounted for more than 22 per cent of capacity and 20 per cent of supply over the past year – although it has been higher over
shorter periods – and at times supplied more than 80 per cent of the state’s energy needs.
The fact that wind energy, once built, supplies energy at near zero marginal cost and lowers the wholesale price of electricity has helped push more expensive fossil fuel generation out of the system, which is why fossil fuel generators are keen to reduce the extent of the renewable energy target. In South Australia, it has forced the closure in winter of the two local coal-fired generators that once supplied nearly one-third of the state’s needs. Read more »
Leaving aside its nasty little internal squabbles, Australia’s fifth uranium mine Four Mile uranium project in South Australia is without doubt the most striking example of all that is wrong about Australia’s uranium industry. Well, next door, is Beverley mine – equally bad. But they’re practically the same, in that they are both practically owned by USA’s General Atomics. Neal Blue is the chairman of Quasar Resources, which is affiliated with General Atomics, a major United States weapons and nuclear energy corporation. He is CEO of Heathgate Resources. a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of General Atomics (GA) which owns Beverley uranium mine. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors for General Atomics
General Atomics has a murky history It develops nuclear technologies including arms manufacture. Especially those Predator drones which kill anybody that the Pentagon thinks is “suspicious” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neal Blue was one of the designers of Predator. At its uranium processing plant on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, General Atomics for years covered up radioactive water and gas leaks.
General Atomic has spent $thousands’ lobbying and ferrying of USA politicians to Australia, , and Australian federal and state politicians to USA . In 2000 Heathgate applauded police brutality against environmentalists and local Aboriginal people. An online video clip details this brutality. the police action (in a 2000 media release which is no longer available online). After a 10-year legal case, 10 people were awarded a total of $700,000 damages.
General Atomics flew a group from the US Congress to Australia, accompanied by company executives, to persuade the Federal Government to buy the company’s Predator unmanned aircraft
As well as its interest in unmanned spy planes, General Atomics has employed human spies. In 2008 it was caught hiring a former undercover police officer turned private investigator to infiltrate Australian environment groups and report on their actions.
In 2008 General Atomics and Neal Blue were sued for fraudulently hiking uranium prices and manipulating costs. In the settlement One of General Atomics’s customers, Exelon, received $US41 million from the company. It is estimated Mr Blue made $US200 million by breaking the contracts and selling uranium on the spot market
Heathgate Resources have been promoting the view that low-level radiation is beneficial, and funding the Australian visits of people like Dr Doug Dr Boreham prepared to promote those views.
Heathgate is not required to clean up Four Mile uranium mine. and there is no requirement it decontaminate the Beverley site when mining ceases. Christina Macpherson 25 Oct 12,
Go-ahead for disputed uranium joint venture BY: BARRY FITZGERALD From: The Australian October 25, 2012 THE much-delayed Four Mile uranium project in South Australia – a joint venture between ASX-listed Alliance Resources (25 per cent) and US group Heathgate (75 per cent) – is finally being developed.
Christina’s note: The cancelling of BHP’s plan for a mega uranium mine at Olympic Dam has had one bit of very good “fallouT – in that they now probabaly won’t want the desalination plant at Spencer Gulf. That would have alomost certainly resulted in the extinction of this unique and beautiful animal, which depends on the delicate balance of salt and fresh water for its breeding area
More protection urged for cuttlefish http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-19/more-protection-urged-for-cuttlefish/4323270 Oct 19, 2012 Greens MP Mark Parnell is urging an immediate listing of the giant
Australian cuttlefish as a protected species. Some Whyalla locals say cuttlefish numbers in upper Spencer Gulf fell
from an annual aggregation of about 200,000 to about 6,000 for the most recent breeding season. Research is yet to pinpoint a cause.
Mr Parnell said even if over-fishing was not the cause, there would be no harm in giving the cuttlefish more protection.
“There are some simple actions they can take – protect these fish under state law, seek their protection under federal law and put in place an emergency recovery plan that involves all the best science, and not just throw your hands up in despair and say ‘Well they’re disappearing and there’s nothing we can do about it’,” he said.
Solar Thermal Energy Parliamentary Enquiry For South Australia http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3430 by Energy Matters The efforts by supporters of the construction of a solar thermal power station in Port Augusta, South Australia have paid off.
SA Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said a select committee will research a proposal to replace Alinta Energy’s Northern and Playford coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta with a concentrated solar thermal plant. Read more »
Energy firm claims battery storage breakthrough SMH, October 10, 2012 - Peter Hannam
Carbon economy editor A South Australian energy firm is claiming an international breakthrough in battery technology that will help generators of solar and wind power store their energy more cheaply.
ZEN Energy Systems today unveiled a computer-controlled storage system - with one model about the size of a bar fridge – which almost doubles the effectiveness of batteries.
“This technology is a game changer for the renewable energy industry and has the potential to change the way individuals and communities use electricity in the future,” ZEN’s chief executive officer, Richard Turner, said.
Mr Turner said as many as 10 Australian utilities are interested in trialling the system and the company has already begun shipping large-scale container-sized units to US clients…….. Read more »
Adelaide is leading the way in water-sensitive urban design and green roof technology.
Roof gardens proven to cool buildings ABC Radio The World Today Nicola Gage reported this story on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 ELEANOR HALL: Roof gardens are becoming more prevalent in the world’s major cities.
Now a study has found that not only are they building mini-ecosystems, they’re also cooling buildings significantly and reducing carbon emissions, as Nicola Gage reports.
NICOLA GAGE: Major cities have inherently been linked to pollution and rising carbon emissions, but 22 stories up on the roof of a building in Adelaide, there’s a micro-climate that’s returning wildlife to the city.
GRAEME HOPKINS: It’s had bees up here collecting honey, it’s got birds and we’ve identified two moth varieties and no doubt the birds have been chasing the moths. So there’s a whole ecosystem and this has
happened spontaneously on the 22nd floor, so it’s quite amazing. Read more »
Woomera Prohibited Area Open to Resources Development 04 October 2012 Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence Martin Ferguson MP Minister for Resources & Energy Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson today announced the next step in opening up the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) in South Australia to minerals exploration and resources development.
“The Woomera Prohibited Area has great economic potential, with estimates that more than $35 billion of developments, including iron ore, gold and uranium projects would be possible over the next decade, ” Mr Ferguson said.
“We can now consider new applications for access to the area from companies wishing to explore for minerals,” Mr Smith said…..
Minister Ferguson said that implementing the recommendations of the Hawke Review will help secure the longevity of our minerals resources sector….. The Review is being implemented in three phases – the moratorium on the granting of new non-Defence entrants access to the WPA, a transitional phase involving the development and implementation
of enabling legislation, and a final phase where transitional arrangements are implemented and where permanent arrangements are put in place.Further information is available at www.defence.gov.au/woomera/
Woomera Prohibited Area, Australian Department of Defence The Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) is a globally unique military testing range. It covers 127,000 square kilometres in north-west South Australia, approximately 450 kilometres NNW of Adelaide. It is the largest land range in the world, with a centre line of over 600 kilometres, comparable in size to England….The WPA comprises extensive lands north of the Indian Pacific railway, from Maralinga in the south-west up to its north-west corner in the Great Victoria Desert (that stretches across the SA-WA border), across to Coober Pedy, and west of Roxby Downs down to Woomera in the south-east.. http://www.defence.gov.au/woomera/about.htm
Aboriginal groups to challenge SA Govt’s legislation on oil, gas licences on constitutional, racial discrimination grounds, Adelaide Now, Valerina Changarathil October 08, 2012
THE State Government’s retrospective amendments to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act affecting exploration and production licenses in the Cooper Basin area will be challenged in Federal Court on constitutional and racial discrimination grounds.
Aboriginal groups representative, the South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS), will file an appeal to this effect in an ongoing matter set for hearing early next year. Read more »