Australian news, and some related international items

Olympic Dam copper/uranium mine is an economic flop: BHP will try to blame this on the protestors

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who care about Australia’s environment, and about our children’s future are heading for South Australia’s Olympic Dam mine, to voice their peaceful protest against the dirty, dangerous, nuclear/uranium industry.

They will be met by mounted police, police on dirt bikes, and by the police STAR group. This is the special anti-terrorist unit  –  Special Tasks & Rescue Force. While STAR Group officers rarely have to fire their weapon, there have been some incidents in which STAR group officers have fired upon an armed suspect and killed their target as per operation guidelines.

What will be the outcome of this peaceful protest? How comfortable BHP BIlliton will be – if somehow it can be made to look like a violent, anti patriotic gathering?

Of course, BHP would love to blame the dwindling prospects for Olympic Dam going ahead –  not on their own gargantuan fantasy about the world’s biggest man-made hole, but on these anti nuclear protestors.

Marius Kloppers, BHP BIlliton, even their disgraceful lackey,  South Australian government know that the real reason for the gloomy forecast for big new Olympic Dam mine is that it’s not going to be a profitable investment. – Christina Macpherson

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam copper/uranium mine’s future more doubtful, with rise of RECYCLING of metals

Olympic Dam is surely under review,” said UBS mining analyst Glyn Lawcock. “It’s not an issue of finding the cash,” he
said, but rather ensuring a good return on the investment……

Further curbing the appetite for refined copper, BHP now sees recycled scrap meeting up to 50 percent of China’s overall demand in the coming year for the metal, up from 35 percent now.

there is a much bigger question mark over it [Olympic Dam new mine] now

BHP Olympic Dam delay would tighten copper supply Reuters, By James Regan SYDNEY | Fri Jul 6, 2012 “….. A 25 percent drop in benchmark international copper prices since early 2011 has eroded potential returns from the project, and the economic slowdown in top base metal consumer China has dampened the demand outlook.

BHP’s scheme to quadruple output from Olympic Dam – the fourth-largest known copper deposit and largest uranium source in the world – is one a growing number analysts believe likely to be shelved until markets stabilize…. London copper prices have fallen to around $7,650 a metric ton (1.1023 tons) from a peak over $10,000 in early 2011 as big copper buyers such as car and computer manufacturers slow consumption… Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, technology, uranium | | 1 Comment

Poor market outlook for copper/uranium will make BHP delay Olympic Dam plans

BHP May Reduce Copper Supply Reduced Demand in China Hurts Production, Wealth Daily,  By Swagato Chakravorty , July 9th, 2012 After a 25 percent decline in international copper prices since 2011, BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) may need to reduce the global supply of  copper from late 2013 onward should the $30 billion Olympic Dam mine
project in Australia be delayed.
The sustained drop in copper prices has affected the potential for returns on the project, and China’s cooling economy has added on to demand woes. BHP intended to expand the mine in order to increase output fourfold from what is the world’s fourth-largest known copper deposit and biggest source of uranium.
40 percent of the world’s copper demand comes from China, which also cut its interest rates last Thursday for the second time as it increasingly focuses on shoring up its economy.
BHP is working on turning the Olympic Dam, which is currently a mine, into an open pit operation.
The board will make a decision by year-end on whether or not to continue the process, which would produce 750,000 metric tons of copper and 19,000 metric tons of uranium a year.
Right now the biggest problem is figuring out whether the current levels of copper will mean an oversupply as demand slows down everywhere…. for now, the analysts advise against the sort of mining expansion BHP is planning.
Reuters reports: “Now is not exactly the right time to be thinking of bringing more copper into the market and BHP knows this,” said Gavin Wendt, a mining analyst with MineLife in Sydney.

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Peaceful anti-nuclear protest in South Australia might be met with police violence, as in the past

Still fresh for many campaigners are the memories and scars of an anti-nuclear protest  at the Beverley Uranium Mine in May 2000…. a nasty example of police violence 

we should also try to engage genuinely with the important moral issues that the protestors are highlighting.

Their agenda is quite public , which is more than could be said for the private sector interests they are protesting. We might also question why the police are deploying over 200 personnel to “manage” a peaceful protest and what violence police have instigated during similar events in the recent past.

Peaceful dissent and a lizard’s revenge  PETER D. BURDON ABC   10 JUL 2012 Protesters at the Beverley uranium mine were treated in a “degrading, humiliating and frightening” manner in 2000, according to a later judgement.

THE ANTI-NUCLEAR MOVEMENT in Australia can be characterised by several key themes – colour, lentils, solidarity and a commitment to nonviolent acts of resistance. Another pervasive theme that characterises the past forty years of activism is power imbalance. On one side of the struggle you have poor and sometimes dislocated indigenous people, students and concerned community members (greenies). On the other side there are billion dollar companies, the Government, State police and the media.

Such is this power imbalance that many campaigners will spend decades resisting without reward. Those who are fortunate to be involved in a campaign victory (or even a slight concession) have also seen promises betrayed and decisions reversed.

Yet, despite many crushing defeats, antinuclear activists continue to resist. They do so, not because they have nothing better to do, or because they are violent delinquents (the images commonly portrayed in the media), but because they are acting in accordance with their conscience. Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, South Australia, uranium | , | 1 Comment

Above Australia’s State and Federal laws – BHP and Olympic Damn uranium mine

Jim Green: Project a rule unto itself Adelaide Now, Jim Green July 10, 2012 OLYMPIC Dam is like a state with no environment, water, Aboriginal and FoI laws, says Jim Green. HUNDREDS of Australians will converge on BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium/copper mine – and a camp up the Oodnadatta Track – from Saturday for five days of protest, education and entertainment.

The concerns leading people to participate are many and varied. The overarching concern might be expressed as a failure of governance – corporate and political.

Olympic Dam is a state within a state. It operates under a unique set of laws enshrined in the amended Roxby Downs Indenture Act.

That would be unobjectionable except that the Indenture Act allows Olympic Dam wide-ranging exemptions from environmental, water management and Aboriginal Heritage laws and, for good measure, it curtails the application of the Freedom of Information Act.

SA Liberal Party industry spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said “every word of the (Indenture) agreement favours BHP, not South Australians”. It beggars belief the SA Labor Government would agree to such one-sided terms and that Mr Hamilton-Smith and his Liberal colleagues waved it through Parliament with no amendments. Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

UK government in a right mess, grappling with entrenched public distrust of nuclear power

Perhaps the government simply accepts no-one will ever trust it on nuclear power. 

How not to solve nuclear power’s trust problem    Continued secrecy, shown in stupidly brief minutes of official meetings, and entrenched attitudes lead to daft ideas like community-owned reactors The public does not trust the government to be objective on nuclear power, a committee of MPs conclude today .

This is hardly surprising, as the MPs note: “The government’s position as an advocate for nuclear power makes it difficult for the public to trust it as an impartial source of information . Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s open cut Olympic Dam copper/uranium project to be shelved indefinitely?

BHP (NYSE:BHP) Reports It Will Make Tighter Worldwide Copper Supply- USA Election News, 9 July 12  By: Jessica Honsinger   BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) reported on Friday that it will make tighter worldwide copper supply from late 2013 onward if it delays work on its single-biggest project, the $30 billion growth of the Olympic Dam mine in Australia.
A 25% decrease in benchmark international copper prices since early on 2011 has eroded possible returns from the project, and the economic delay in top base metal consumer China has dampened the demand
viewpoint. BHP’s system to quadruple output from Olympic Dam the fourth-biggest known copper deposit and biggest uranium source in the world is one a growing number experts consider probable to be shelved until markets

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment