Australian news, and some related international items

Wollemi Mine? Experts label Barilaro’s plan for new coal “corrupt”, unviable

Wollemi Mine? Experts label Barilaro’s plan for new coal “corrupt”, unviable Michael West Media, By Callum Foote|September 3, 2021  

The NSW government is pushing through new coal exploration areas in the state’s mid-west, which have been labelled unviable and “corrupt” by independent experts even as the G7 call a halt on all new coal mining reports Callum Foote.

It’s better known for its rare Wollemi Pine but in the grotesque tradition of aggressive fossil fuel development, even as the world pulls out of coal mining, it may now be known for its Wollemi Mine.

Rylstone, a small town in the Central Tablelands of NSW, 25 km from Mudgee, is under threat from a suite of proposed coal exploration areas that the NSW government has been trying to auction off since mid-last year.

Despite the NSW government’s attempts to cultivate a green brand, John Barilaro’s 2020 Strategic Statement on Coal Exploration and Mining in NSW has opened up productive farmland, adjacent to the world-heritage listed Wollemi national park to brand new coal exploration.

Together, the proposed new coal release areas will encompass over 10 thousand hectares of land in Hawkins and Rumker areas surrounding Rylstone. This comes after the federal and Northern Territory governments together opened a landmass totalling 110,000km sq to gas exploration in 2021 alone.

Expert analysis

The NSW Government’s support of new coal infrastructure makes little sense to Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute, “as an economist, it seems inconceivable that a new thermal mine in Rylstone, that couldn’t begin operations till 2030 could be economically viable.” According to Campbell, the proposed exploration areas “only makes sense that it is either a political deal or corruption.”

The NSW Government might have a difficult time finding buyers for their coal exploration licences as coal miners rush to disinvest from the industry. BPH, the worlds largest miner, is currently trying to pay anyone US$275 million to take Mt Authur, the biggest thermal coal mine in Australia, off their hands. In a report to investors this year, BHP wrote down a further $2.2 billion on their thermal coal assets as they attempt to transition to “future-facing” commodities.

Campbell believes that “it seems incredibly unlikely any serious mining company would be interested in developing a mine in the region.” Any proposed development would not be operational till “at least the second half of this decade and would face intense opposition and be very hard to finance,” said Campbell. …………….

September 6, 2021 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: