Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

World first wave/solar power grid for Western Australia

WA firm’s world first wave/solar power grid https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32755148/wa-power-firm-to-integrate-solar-wave-and-batteries/#page1 –  on September 29, 2016, 

The new features will be integrated with Carnegie’s CETO 6 wave technology which uses wave action to drive turbines and create electricity.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will kick in $2.5 million and construction will start by the end of the year.

wave-energy-carnegie-ceto-system

The company is aiming to start commissioning in the first half of next year. “The Garden Island Microgrid Project will be the first time anywhere in the world that wave energy will be combined with solar and batteries in a microgrid configuration,” Carnegie’s managing director and chief executive Michael Ottaviano said.

“The demonstration of this microgrid project will help drive the commercialisation of CETO and will be a model we will roll out to island nations around the world.

“Island nations are desperate for an energy innovation to replace their current reliance on electricity generated using imported fossil fuels, which is extremely expensive and has a large environmental footprint.

“Now Carnegie presents an effective green alternative, with the GIMG project acting as a template for remote island and grid communities globally.”

Carnegie’s CETO technology is different from other wave energy devices as it operates under water.

September 30, 2016 Posted by | energy, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Crisis in confidence over EPA uranium mine push

 http://www.robinchapple.com/crisis-confidence-over-epa-uranium-mine-push  27 September

WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and Robin Chapple MLC have today questioned the EPA’s approval for preparatory works at the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, which is yet to be approved and currently subject to an appeal.

“Today’s approval for preparatory works at Mulga Rocks exposes the sham of the assessment and appeals process; the EPAs decision today is at odds with the intention of the Environmental Protection Act 1986,” Mr Chapple said.

“There has been serious public backlash against the project reflected in numerous appeals being lodged against the project, including from Traditional Owners and people in the local community.

“There is a race on in WA to get uranium mines approved before the State election. This ambition is ridiculous given the widespread opposition to the industry and the market conditions which are prohibitive to new mines.”

“World-wide we’re seeing uranium mines close and others put in to care and maintenance. Vimy Resources may have some political influence and big benefactors like Andrew Forrest, but none of these things will make this mine profitable or socially acceptable,” Senator Ludlam said.

“The EPA’s response to Vimy’s aggressive approach to starting this mine is not just a demonstration of a poor and non-transparent process, it is a slap in the face for the public and local community that have engaged in good faith in a process which is in essence a fait accompli.

“While the process is broken, the resolve of communities to fight this project is very much alive and well.”

September 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australian company exporting lithium

text-cat-questionWhy mine lithium?
Lithium is essential for wind turbines, as well as for so many 21st Century recycle-rare-earths-2technologies. However, it is another potentially toxic extractive industry. There’s so much of it dumped in discarded devices. Design should be the answer, so that lithium can be recycled.

MinRes beats Galaxy in lithium export race Jarrod Lucas – The West Australian on September 16, 2016  The first shipment of spodumene concentrate from the Mt Marion mine, 40km south-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, is set to depart Fremantle next month bound for lithium processing plants in China.

The product, the equivalent of about 6 per cent lithium, will be delivered to Mt Marion co-owners Ganfeng Lithium (43.1 per cent), which builds batteries out of Jiangxi province and recently branched out into manufacturing electric cars.

Mt Marion, jointly owned by Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources (43.1 per cent), and Neometals (13.8 per cent), will beat Galaxy Resources to market after its first shipment via Esperance from the revamped Mt Cattlin mine near Ravensthorpe was delayed until December.

It comes as Mt Marion’s neighbours Maximus Resources yesterday trumpeted a “new lithium discovery” on the doorstep of the mine……..https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32629967/lithium-set-for-export/#page1

September 16, 2016 Posted by | business, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Appeal lodged against Western Australia’s Mulga Rock uranium mine project

legal actionAppeal against WA Mulga Rock uranium mine Sky News, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 An appeal has been lodged against the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommendation to approve the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

The appeal was lodged on Monday by the Conservation Council of WA, the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth Australia and the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA.

The grounds for appeal include environmental factors for flora and fauna, mine closure, tailings management and impacts to water……

Following the EPA’s recommendation with 14 conditions, including having environmental and Aboriginal heritage management plans in place, it is now up to state and federal environment ministers to decide if the project will go ahead.

But CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper says the proposed mine sits in the Yellow Sand Plain Priority Community, which supports rare and endangered species.

‘If this mine were to proceed it would take 15 million litres of water a day from the environment and clear over 3000 hectares of native bushland and important habitat for 93 reptile species, 28 bird species and 10 mammal/marsupial species,’ she said.

‘This uranium mine would leave behind a legacy of 30 million tonnes of radioactive tailings and mine waste that would pose a threat to the environment for thousands of years.’

Earlier this month, the EPA rejected Cameco’s plan to mine uranium at its Yeelirrie project, 70km southeast of Wiluna, because the project posed unacceptable risks to subterranean fauna. – See more at:http://www.skynews.com.au/business/business/company/2016/08/30/appeal-against-wa-mulga-rock-uranium-mine.html#sthash.qqOmAFyx.dpuf

September 2, 2016 Posted by | legal, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Aboriginal people will fight planned Vimy uranium mine, despite EPA’s approoval of it

Indigenous people living in the area have a bad history with uranium developments. It’s a few hundred kilometres from Cundalee, the mission where Spinifex people from the Great Victoria Desert were placed after being pushed off their traditional lands by the British government’s nuclear testing program in Maralinga, South Australia, in the 1950s and 60s

handsoffPilanguru people to fight on as uranium mine gets environmental approval
Traditional owners say the Indigenous community has not been adequately consulted about Vimy Resources’ planned Mulga Rock open-pit mine,
Guardian, , 15 Aug 16, Traditional owners have vowed to fight a proposed uranium mine at Mulga Rock, about 240km west of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, which was given conditional environmental approval on Monday.

The Environmental Protection Authority of WA recommended the Barnett government approve construction of the open-pit mine and uranium processing plant, operated by Perth-based Vimy Resources Limited, after a three-month public environmental review. Continue reading

August 17, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Environmental groups put a winning argument against the Yeelirrie uranium project

The winning argument against the mine A joint submission was provided to the Yeelirrie Public logo CCWAEnvironment Review by the Conservation Council of WA, the Australian logo-WANFAConservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth Australia, The Wilderness Society, the Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA, the West Australia Nuclear Free
logo-FOEAlliance and the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance.

Amongst other points, they called for the project to be rejected “on the grounds that logo ANFAthe Yeelirrie Subterranean Community, a Priority 1 Ecological Community (PEC) comprises a series of highly endemic, diverse stygofauna and troglofauna species within multiple calcrete habitats). The impacts of the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine, predominantly the associated groundwater drawdown, pose an unacceptable risk that could see a number of subterranean species become extinct (particularly 15 species that are currently only known from the direct impact zone).”

The EPA decision was based on the impacts on subterranean fauna, and disregarded other points made in the submission.

The Wongutha Traditional Owners have been fighting this project for over 40 years.

WA EPA rejects proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine, Online Opinion,  By Mara Bonacci – posted Tuesday, 16 August 2016 After nearly 3,000 people lodged submissions with the Western Australian EPA in opposition to the proposed uranium mine at Yeelirrie, on August 3 the EPA recommended that the project be rejected. Traditional Owners and environmentalists welcomed the decision, but remain wary……. Continue reading

August 17, 2016 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australia’s EPA approves Vimy uranium mine, but Conservation Council and Aborigines oppose it

Vimy Resources uranium mine east of Kalgoorlie given environmental approval, ABC News, By Laura Gartry , 16 Aug 16, A new uranium mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields has been recommended for approval by the state’s environmental watchdog, just weeks after a similar proposal in the area was knocked back.

The Environmental Protection Authority [EPA] granted the approval for Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock uranium project, which is 240 kilometres east-north-east of Kalgoorlie, subject to a range of conditions.

Final approval is still required from both the state and federal environment ministers…….

Earlier this month, the EPA rejected Cameco Australia’s Yeelirrie uranium project after it deemed there was too much risk to the area’s subterranean fauna.

The Canadian company had sought to mine up to 7,500 tonnes of UOC per year from the Yeelirrie deposit, about 420 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and 70 kilometres south-west of Wiluna.

The proposal had attracted protests, including from traditional owner and chair of WA nuclear free alliance Kado Muir, who argued there was no broad community support for uranium mining in WA…….

More than 1,000 submissions were received during the 12-week public review period…….

Two other WA uranium projects have received EPA and ministerial approval in recent years, including the Wiluna uranium mine and the Kintyre uranium project, 270 kilometres north east of Newman.

logo CCWAThe Conservation Council of WA said it would appeal the proposed mine because it threatened a pristine environmentally and culturally-significant area.……

Vimy Resources faces many hurdles and road blocks and today’s EPA recommendation is a long way from a green light for mining yellow cake at Mulga Rock,” Council campaigner Mia Pepper said.

Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation chair Bruce Hogan said the site was culturally significant. “We don’t want that mine to go ahead. We will fight against that mine at Mulga Rock,” Mr Hogan said.

Spinifex Pilki elder Sandra Evans said traditional owners from the Great Victoria Desert area were not consulted properly. “There are a lot of women’s sites there – they didn’t come to talk to the tribal women from there about clearing the grass trees and other special places,” she said.

“Uranium is different to other minerals – it’s dangerous. If it leaves our country and goes somewhere else – that’s still our responsibility, we worry about that.”

The EPA’s report is open for a two-week public appeal period.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-15/epa-approves-uranium-mine-near-kalgoorlie/7734798

August 17, 2016 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

History of Cameco’s Yeelirrie uranium mining plan

text-historyWA EPA rejects proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine, Online Opinion,  By Mara Bonacci – posted Tuesday, 16 August 2016 “…….Yeelirrie is located 420 km north of Kalgoorlie in the mid-west region of WA, the land of the Wongutha people. Yeelirrie is the name of a local sheep station and, in the local Aboriginal language, means “place of death”.

In 1973 Western Mining Corporation (WMC) found a uranium deposit there. The Yeelirrie Mine Proposal was submitted to the WA Department of Conservation and Environment in 1979. The proposal was for the development of an open cut mine, ore treatment plant, town and ancillary services and 850 employees. Environmental approval was given by both state and federal governments.

Trial mines were dug in the 1980s, which found the first large scale calcrete orebody in the world. It is estimated that around 195 tonnes of yellowcake were mined in these trials. WMC spent $35 million preparing to develop the mine until the 1983 federal election and subsequent implementation of the ALPs “three mines policy” in 1984, limiting Australia’s number of uranium mines to three.

In 2005, the mine was acquired from WMC by BHP Billiton, who concluded one stage of exploration mining. Then in 2012, Canadian mining company Cameco bought the deposit from BHP for $430 million….

 

Cameco’s Yeelirrie mine proposal includes:

  • A 9 km long, 1.5 km wide and 10 m deep open pit mine
  • 14 million tonnes of overburden
  • Using 8.7 million litres of water a day
  • Producing 7,500 tonnes per year of uranium (10 percent of annual world demand)
  • To be transported by four road trains a week
  • It would produce 126,000 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions
  • 36 million tonnes of tailings stored in the open pit2,421 hectares would be cleared
  • 22 years of operation
  • Highly variable work force – average of 300………http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18451&page=1

August 17, 2016 Posted by | history, reference, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Mulga Rock uranium plan faces serious opposition

handsoff Environment groups and Traditional Owners have vowed to fight the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, 260 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, despite today’s recommendation by the state EPA that the Environment Minister approve the mine.

Environment groups and Traditional Owners said the mine threatened the pristine environmentally and culturally significant area.

Bruce Hogan from the Council of Tribal Elders and Chair of Pilanguru Native Title Group said “We use to go out there with our Elders. We can’t see how this mine could go ahead. The seven sister’s tjukupa (dreaming) goes through there and the two wadis (lore men) went through that area too. The elders use to take us there for cultural practice, they would leave us there for a few days and then come back to pick us up. We don’t want that mine to go ahead. We will fight against that mine at Mulga Rock.”

Conservation Council Nuclear Free Campaigner Mia Pepper said “Conservation groups will be lodging an official appeal against this recommendation by the EPA.

“The Mulga Rock uranium proposal is unsafe and unwanted. The company has continually dismissed the cultural values and importance of the area and has failed to properly consult with Traditional Owners.”

“The Mulga Rock area is a rare and significant environment and part of the Yellow Sandplain Priority Ecological Community. The planned mine threatens a number of rare and endangered species. Taking this unique and pristine desert ecosystem and turning it into a polluted, radioactive uranium mine is not a proposal that should ever be entertained” Ms Pepper concluded.

“The planned mine does not enjoy bi-partisan state political support, broad social license or favourable market conditions,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Vimy Resources faces many hurdles and roadblocks. Today’s EPA recommendation is a long way from a green light for mining yellow cake at Mulga Rock.”

August 15, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

In Western Australia Native title win for the Ngurra Kayanta people.

thumbs-upNative title win in WA’s remote desert https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/32304974/native-title-win-in-was-remote-desert/#page1  AAP on August 11, 2016,

 A native title claim for a 20,000sq km area in a remote part of the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia has been won by the Ngurra Kayanta people.

They first applied for native title over the land, which straddles the Shire of East Pilbara and the Shire of Halls Creek, in December 2012.

Federal Court of Australia Justice Michael Barker said none of the claimants now lived permanently in the area but continued to adhere to traditional laws and customs by visiting and maintaining a physical association with the country, and passing on traditional songs, stories and knowledge of sites to children and grandchildren.

“The claimants have maintained a presence in the determination area since the acquisition of British sovereignty,” Justice Barker said. “In addition, evidence of the continuing physical or spiritual involvement of the claimants in the determination area is accepted to conclude that this connection has not been severed.

“Ultimately, the state is satisfied that the material presented is sufficient to evidence the maintenance of connection according to traditional laws and customs.”

August 13, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australian farmers see solar off-grid savings opportunity

Solar off grid systemSolar could be game changer for rural communities going off the grid, ABC News By Kathryn Diss , 7 Aug 16 For decades, farmers in Western Australia’s south have put up with the most unreliable electricity supply in the state, now they are about to find out if they can live off-grid, surviving on solar power instead.

Key points:

  • Farmers in Western Australia are investigating using stand-alone solar power systems
  • Solar battery technology is making this more easily achieved, and the State Government will pay for it
  • Power-supply to south west WA has been unreliable, a problem in other regional areas

Ros and Bernie Giles are part of a handful of farming families giving the technology a crack after living through years of frustration at their farm in West River, 500 kilometres south of Perth.

“Summer is our worst time, we seem to have more fluctuations then,” Ms Giles said……

Power problems span farmland across nation

WA’s south west grid spans more than 250,000 square kilometres, an area the size of the United Kingdom, yet it only services a 50th of the population, making it unreliable and expensive to maintain.

But the power problems faced by the people of West River are hardly unique.

Matthew Warren heads up the Australian Energy Council, which formed earlier this year to respond to the world’s rapidly changing energy market.

He said most edge-of-grid communities around the nation suffered the same problems……….

Renewable energy reaches tipping point

The move by WA’s Liberal-National Government to invest in the technology is seen as a step towards a greener future.

It is not just environmental goals driving the innovation but the financial realities of providing an expensive poles and wires network versus the improving economics of renewables……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-06/solar-could-be-game-changer-for-rural-communities-on-grid-edge/7681398

August 8, 2016 Posted by | solar, storage, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Eastern Guruma Aborigines “worse off than when no mining existed” – snub Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto snubbed by Pilbara’s Aboriginal elder, The Australian, s  Andrew Burrell The Australian Business Review. August 6, 2016 

Unfortunately, we cannot stand here today and welcome you to country when our people are worse off than when no mining existed,” the elders said.

Aboriginal elders refused to perform a “welcome to country” ceremony at a Rio Tinto (RIO) function to mark the company’s 50-year anniversary of mining in the Pilbara in a protest over what they say is a failure to pay royalties and create jobs for indigenous communities.

In an embarrassing snub, the Eastern Guruma native title holders instead took to the stage at the event in Tom Price to attack Rio’s record in the Pilbara.

Rio has long touted its credentials on indigenous issues, describing itself as one of the largest private sector employers of indigenous Australians.

The company has no legal obligation to pay mining royalties to the native title holders on six of its Pilbara mines because they were established before the Native Title Act came into effect in 1994.

At the recent function, three of the Eastern Guruma elders — Sue Boyd, July Hicks and Judith Hughes — refused to perform a “welcome to country” ceremony that is commonly used by traditional owners to welcome visitors to their land.

“Unfortunately, we cannot stand here today and welcome you to country when our people are worse off than when no mining existed,” the elders said.

“We are not being paid compensation for three Rio Tinto mines operating on our country. We are not being employed. We are not getting the contracts and business opportunities that the mining industry prides itself on.

“Outcomes for the Eastern Guruma people have been poor.

“Rio always wants us to consent to the destruction of our country for mining so that Rio can make more money for its shareholders. None of us know exactly how much money Rio Tinto has made from mining our traditional county.”…….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rio-tinto-snubbed-by-pilbaras-aboriginal-elders/news-story/32fb4168c6d295c63dce2ea95afcafef

August 6, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional Aboriginal owners re-affirm their opposition to uranium mining at Yeelirrie

handsoffTraditional Owners welcome Yeelirrie decision and re-affirm anti uranium mining position  https://nuclearfree.wordpress.com/media/ 4th August 2016

Traditional Owners at Yeelirrie have fought against uranium mining for over 40 years.

The decision from the EPA comes as welcome relief but Traditional Owners remain wary.

Richard Evans Koara elder and co-founder of the West Australian Nuclear Free Alliance has said “The EPA decision to protect subterranean fauna is a good decision and the right decision and we are happy with the outcome.

But we believe the EPA has underestimated the risk to bush foods, public health and water and most importantly our cultural heritage and our community’s opposition to the mine.”

“I invite the Minister (who has never spoken to us before) to come and meet with us the Traditional Owners of Yeelirrie before making a decision about our country. No Minister has come to talk to us about that country.

Yeelirrie is an important place in our culture, it is a dreaming site it important to us and other tribes around us.

In the short time since WA was colonised there have been drastic changes to the ecosystem and the country.” …

“It’s not just about protecting this country for us – but uranium threatens communities and country from the cradle to the grave, at home and overseas.

This is our responsibility and we take that responsibility seriously. We have to leave this poison where it is.” … “

August 5, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

GREENS APPLAUD RARE WIN AGAINST URANIUM MINE AT YEELIRRIE

 greensSmhttp://greens.org.au/news/wa/greens-applaud-rare-win-against-uranium-mine-yeelirrie August 3, 2016

The Greens have urged WA Environment minister Albert Jacobs to uphold the EPA’s advice to reject the controversial Yeelirrie uranium in the Goldfields of WA.
“The Yeelirrie uranium mine was first proposed in the 1970’s and has faced strong local and state wide community opposition for decades,” said Greens nuclear spokesperson Scott Ludlam.
“Today’s decision by the EPA should be the final nail in a proposal that should never have seen the light of day.
“The onus is now on Albert  Jacobs to score a rare win for the WA environment and shut this proposal down once and for all.”
Senator Ludlam congratulated  pastoralists, anti-nuclear campaigners and local Traditional Owners for their tireless work to oppose a project that would have been an environmental disaster.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Agency rejects Cameco’s Yeelirrie Uranium project

thumbs-downCameco’s Yeerrilie uranium mine proposal knocked back in WA Goldfields http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-03/uranium-mine-proposal-knocked-back-in-wa/7685538 Western Australia’s environmental watchdog has knocked back a proposed uranium mine in the state’s Goldfields, at the site of Australia’s largest uranium deposit.The Environmental Protection Agency said Cameco Australia’s Yeelirrie Uranium project could not meet one of the nine key environmental factors.

The Canadian company sought to mine up to 7,500 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate per year from the Yeelirrie deposit, about 420 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and 70km south-west of Wiluna.

The facility was to include two open pits, processing facilities, roads, accommodation, stockpile and laydown areas.

It would have transported the uranium oxide by road for export through the Port of Adelaide.

The authority’s chairman, Dr Tom Hatton, said the assessment process was extensive and involved public consultation and a site visit. He said the proposal would threaten more than 70 species of underground fauna, known as “stygofauna”.

Muir,-KadoThe proposal had attracted protests, including from traditional owner Kado Muir, who argued there was no broad community support for uranium mining in Western Australia.

The EPA put the proposal up for public comment for 12 weeks, attracting 169 responses and a further 2,946 pro forma submissions.

The EPA gave a proposal for Western Australia’s first uranium mine the green light in 2012, the first to be approved since the lifting of a state ban on uranium mining in 2008.  But the project, put forward by South Australian mining company Toro Energy, has stalled on the back of falling demand and global prices for the commodity.

August 3, 2016 Posted by | environment, Western Australia | 2 Comments