Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Ranger mine closure costs to hit more than $800m

Ranger mine closure costs to hit more than $800m NT News, 18 Jan 19, The Northern Territory’s Ranger mine is counting the millions — more than $800 million to be exact — to move the mine, which is surrounded by Kakadu National Park, towards full closure…. (subscribers only)

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January 19, 2019 Posted by | Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Northern Territory – legal case over climate change

December 10, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, legal, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Cost of rehabilitating Ranger uranium mine

World Nuclear News 7th Dec 2018 The estimated rehabilitation costs for the Ranger Project Area inAustralia’s Northern Territory have increased from AUD512 million (USD370
million) to AUD808 million, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has
announced. The estimate is based on preliminary findings from a feasibility
study which will be finalised in early 2019.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/ERA-updates-Ranger-rehabilitation-costs

December 10, 2018 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Mirrar people at last gain some control over their traditional land, as uranium miners leave

Jabiru native title claim victory for Mirarr traditional owners https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-09/mirarr-country-jabiru-native-title-determination-nt/10479708

Traditional owners in Jabiru, 300 kilometres east of Darwin, are celebrating after their native title rights and interests were successfully recognised under Australian law.

Key points:

  • Native Title application first lodged on behalf of the Mirrar people in 1998
  • Determination gives native title parties security to ensure their rights are protected
  • As mining interests leave, traditional owners hope to revitalise the struggling town

Generations of Mirarr people have lived traditionally and used the land within the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park for thousands of years.

In 2017, researchers uncovered a wealth of artefacts on Mirarr country which indicated humans reached Australia at least 65,000 years ago — up to 18,000 years earlier than archaeologists previously thought.

Today, a special on-country hearing will be held to present the Mirarr native title holders, led by five senior women, with hard copies of the native title determination over areas of the Jabiru township. Continue reading

November 9, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Rio Tinto offloads Northern Territory uranium resources to Canadian company

Rio Tinto offloads NT uranium asset to Laramide, Australian Mining   Ewen Hosie

November 7, 2018 Rio Tinto has finalised its sale of the Murphy uranium tenements in the Northern Territory to Canadian company Laramide Resources.

The Murphy uranium tenements, located near the Queensland-NT border, were responsible for the production of high-grade uranium in the 1950s but have not seen much exploration since the 1970s. The tenements are contiguous to Laramide’s Westmoreland project in northwest Queensland.

The acquisition comprises the EL 9319 and EL 9414 exploration licences and several other applications across 683 square kilometres.

Laramide has paid Rio the first of three $150,000 cash payments to Rio Tinto as laid out in the terms of the agreement announced in July this year…….https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/laramide-completes-acquisition-rio-tinto-uranium-tenements-nt/

November 8, 2018 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

16 October 2018 ‘A group of Traditional Owners from the Northern Territory are in Sydney this week
to challenge Origin Energy over claims it has consent for controversial gas fracking plans
across some of the Northern Territory’s most pristine
landscapes, waterways and iconic tourism regions.

Traditional Owners, the Protect Country Alliance and supporters will address
a press conference prior to the AGM, coinciding with the launch of a national campaign
calling on Origin to drop plans to frack the Northern Territory. …

Stuart Nuggett [TraditionalOwner] has travelled from the remote township of Elliott
to attend the AGM on behalf of his community, a region at the heart of Origin’s fracking permit acreage:
‘“Our communities haven’t been given enough information about what Origin is planning for our region.
We are worried about the risks fracking brings.
I have concerns over what the impact could be on water. Water is life.
I want the company to listen to our concerns and act on them.”

May August is an Alawa grandmother and Traditional Owner
for land under the Origin exploration permits:
‘“We don’t want fracking to start in our area because we have seen
the damage Origin and other companies have done elsewhere in Australia. … ‘

dontfracktheterritory.org/media-release-native-title-holders-launch-campaign-challenging-origin-energy-over-nt-fracking-consents/

October 23, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Traditional owners to tell Origin Energy it has not gained consent for fracking on their land 

ABC,  By Jane Bardon 16 Oct 18 A group of Indigenous traditional owners from remote parts of the Northern Territory will travel to Origin Energy’s annual general meeting in Sydney on Wednesday to tell shareholders they have not given permission for the company to frack their land for gas.

Key points:

  • A group of Indigenous traditional owners will soon tell Origin Energy shareholders they did not give consent for its planned developments
  • They will ask the company to review consent agreements
  • But the company is confident traditional owners already gave consent

Origin Energy gained official approvals for gas exploration, including test fracking, in the gas-rich Beetaloo Basin, both from traditional owners through the Northern Land Council, and the Northern Territory Government.

But some of the traditional owners plan to tell the shareholder meeting they oppose fracking, and did not give their “free, prior and informed consent”.

They hope to tell the meeting when permission for fracking was sought by Origin Energy, they did not fully understand the company’s explanations of processes, or the potential size of developments potentially numbering hundreds of wells.

“The letter that we’re bringing up to Origin, we want that to be recognised, and to be respected for who we are,” Alawa traditional owner Naomi Wilfred said.

The Alawa traditional owner, whose country includes Nutwood Downs in the northern part of Origin Energy’s EP98 permit area, said she is worried about potential environmental impacts if production goes ahead……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-16/indigenous-traditional-owners-origin-energy-fracking-consent/10379162

October 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Restoring Kakadu to its former glory (now that uranium mining is finished)

Kakadu at a crossroads: Traditional owners welcome call to restore park to its former glory http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-29/kakadu-at-a-crossroads:-traditional-owners-tourism/9921510  By Felicity James  

June 29, 2018 Posted by | environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Historic Northern Territory treaty agreement  means ‘the old way is finished’

‘Chief minister says ‘nothing is on or off the table’ for new treaty agreement signed in Barunga’
Lorena Allam Sat 9 Jun 2018

‘Gunner told the crowd he was proud to have signed the memorandum of understanding,
calling it “the most significant Aboriginal affairs reform in the NT this generation”. … ‘

‘The chairman of the Northern Land CouncilSamuel Bush-Blanasi,
said it was “momentous.”

‘“We’ve got a big journey ahead of us.
The MOU gives us high hopes about the future, and
I hope the government stays true to the spirit of the MOU.”

‘That note of hope was echoed by the chairman of the Central Land CouncilFrancis Jupurrurla Kelly.

‘“I hope a treaty will settle us down together and bring self-determination.

‘“Today we bounced the ball,” Jupurrurla Kelly said,
“but we don’t want to stay the only players in the game.
The next steps must be led by Aboriginal people across the Territory so that
… everyone can have their say.”

Tiwi Land Council’s Gibson Farmer Illortaminni was more cautious.
“We’ve got to be careful and understand each other about what we want,
because we don’t want to have the same problems we’ve had in the past.
The MOU is a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

‘The treaty agreement kicked off the annual Barunga festival.

Read more:
www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/09/historic-northern-territory-treaty-agreement-means-the-old-way-is-finis

June 10, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Decades overdue Ranger Uranium Mine rehabilitation plan released The world is watching

Northern Land Council, 5 June 2018     The Northern Land Council and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation welcome today’s public release of the Ranger Mine Closure Plan by Energy Resources of Australia. The plan is decades overdue and critical to the company meeting the objectives of rehabilitation.

The NLC and GAC, representing the Mirarr Traditional Aboriginal Owners of the mine site, will now review the plan and engage with stakeholders as part of the approval process. While not part of a public environmental impact statement process, the public release of the plan does provide the broader community with an opportunity to comment on the plan to the Australian government.

The Mine Closure Plan is of a very high level and even though Ranger’s closure is imminent, a significant amount of detailed planning and supporting studies remain outstanding. ERA and its parent company Rio Tinto must clearly demonstrate that they have sufficient resources devoted to mine closure to provide stakeholders with confidence that the objectives outlined in the closure plan can be met.

The Ranger plan remains unenforceable until it is approved by the federal Minister for Resources. The mine’s operational life must cease by January 2021, ahead of five years’ rehabilitation. The future of Aboriginal communities downstream of the mine and the World Heritage listed values of Australia’s largest national park are at stake.

ERA and Rio Tinto’s rehabilitation obligations include remediation of the site such that it can be incorporated in the surrounding Kakadu National Park. The final determination as to whether the area can be incorporated into the World Heritage area sits with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, on advice from its expert advisory bodies the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

NLC contact: Martha Tattersall 0427 031 382 GAC contact: Kirsten Blair 0412 853 641

http://gac-v3.katalyst.com.au/media/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMDYvMDQvM3plYWpidjJ1al8yMDE4MDQwNl9HQUNfTkxDX3JlX0VSQV9SVU1fTUNQXzVfSnVuZV8yMDE4LnBkZiJdXQ/20180406%20GAC%20NLC%20re%20ERA%20RUM%20MCP%205%20June%202018.pdf

June 6, 2018 Posted by | Northern Territory, uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Ranger mine closure and rehab to cost $1bn

The $1 billion plan for the closure and rehabilitation of Australia’s oldest operating uranium mine has been released by Energy Resources of Australia… (subscribers only) 
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/ranger-mine-closure-and-rehabilitation-to-cost-1-billion/news-story/f86aa022ca5c700cf3264c7fe8d3abdd

June 6, 2018 Posted by | Northern Territory, uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Indigenous Rangers left waiting for funding commitment

Indigenous rangers left out to dry, 26 Apr 18 
It’s been a long and anxious wait for indigenous ranger organisations in the Territory, as they hope for a formal funding commitment to arrive before deal expires in June …(subscribers only) 
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/indigenous-rangers-in-the-northern-territory-left-waiting-for-formal-funding-agreement/news-story/51f868eb3e08369ca59517ef0cf0072c

April 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Aboriginal traditional owners warn that Rum Jungle uranium mine rehabilitation is jeopardised

 

Above: Finniss River polluted by Rum Jungle mine’s toxic metallic and radioactive debris

Rum Jungle uranium mine rehabilitation jeopardised by NT Resources Department, traditional owners warn http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/uranium-mine-rehabilitation-jeopardised-nt-resources-department/9612056  By Sara Everingham 

April 4, 2018 Posted by | environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Rare earths mining in Central Australia approved

EPA approves $900m rare earths mine in Central Australia despite radioactive risk, ABC News, By Ben Millington,  5 Jan 18,A proposed $900 million rare earths mine in Central Australia has been recommended for approval by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (EPA), after an assessment process lasting more than two years.,

Arafura Resources’ Nolans Project at Aileron, 135 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, would mine rare earth materials such as neodymium and praseodymium, used to manufacture strong magnets for wind turbines and electric vehicles.

The EPA identified several long-term environmental risks and impacts with the project, but found they could be managed.

“There will have to be a high level of operational management control for this project over a couple of generations, and there’ll have to be a high level of regulatory scrutiny, there’s no two ways about that,” EPA chairman Paul Vogel said.

The primary risks include the permanent storage of naturally occurring radioactive material onsite and the use of significant groundwater resources over the 35 to 55-year lifespan of the project……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-05/epa-approves-rare-earth-mine-in-central-australia/9306610

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Northern Territory, rare earths | Leave a comment

Northern Territory to unveil plan for 50% renewables

Northern Territory to release 50% renewables plan next week http://reneweconomy.com.au/northern-territory-release-50-renewables-plan-next-week-18260/ By Giles Parkinson on 24 November 2017 As Australia’s national energy policy enter a new hiatus – as the industry awaits some text to be inserted into the thought bubbles around the proposed National Energy Guarantee- some states and territories are getting on with their own plans.

The Labor government in the Northern Territory is expected next week, and possibly as early as Monday, to unveil the detail of its roadmap to a 50 per cent renewable energy target.

The government last year commissioned a special panel to put together the plan, which could result in some 400MW or more of mostly solar capacity in the territory over the next decade – not a huge sum by any means, but still significant given the potential investment droughts elsewhere.

As in other states, Labor has a diametrically opposite view to the conservative parties. Former LNP leader  and chief minister Adam Giles was an ardent critic of renewables, and now works for Australia’s richest person, the mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

 The Labor government in the NT is taking a similar approach as the Labor government in Queensland with its 50 per cent renewable energy target, although the Queensland plans hinge on the outcome of the state election on Saturday. The results seem impossible to predict.

Victoria’s Labor government, meanwhile, has legislated a 40 per cent renewable energy target by 2025, and is conducting a 650MW auction – the largest ever in Australia – while the ACT has already contracted with some 700MW of wind and solar to meet its 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.

South Australia’s Labor government has already met its 50 per cent renewable energy target, and is keen on adding more, with numerous large scale solar, wind and storage projects lining up in the state.

The Northern Territory is almost entirely reliant on gas and diesel, and has three small grids – around Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, and a host of stand alone systems and micro-grids in its many remote communities.

Alice Springs has made a major push into solar – including 12MW of rooftop solar and the 4MW Uterne solar system (the first large scale system in Australia) – and is installing a 5MW battery storage unit to help allow more solar into its small grid.

The Department of Defence is also making a major push into solar, announcing tenders for a total of 12.5MW of utility-scale solar for the RAAF base and barracks in and around Darwin.

The advisory panel was appointed by the government last December and asked to deliver a roadmap by mid year.

It was chaired by remote power system expert Alan Langworthy, and including Katherine Howard, former Australian Renewable Energy Agency chair Greg Bourne, Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie, and Lyndon Frearson, the head of solar and storage specialists Ekistica.

November 24, 2017 Posted by | energy, Northern Territory | Leave a comment