Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Capital Territory prepares for role as clean energy hub and exporter of renewable technology

text-relevantFunding boost for renewable sector to prepare ACT for green future http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/funding-boost-for-renewable-sector-to-prepare-act-for-green-future-20170110-gtp8vm.html  Clare Sibthorp  11 Jan 17 

The ACT government hopes a funding boost to the local renewable sector will take the territory one step closer to a green future.

Two new grant programs launched by Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury aim to shape the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation and investment.

The new Direct Grants Stream will provide grants of more than $30,000 to businesses developing renewable technologies.

The Innovation Connect Renewables Stream will feed extra cash into the ACT government’s existing Innovation Connect grants program, allocating $120,000 to the development of innovative products and services in the renewable sector in 2017.

Mr Rattenbury said the programs would be financed from the $12 million industry-funded Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.

He said the ACT was on track to be fully powered by renewables by 2020. “The grants announced today are designed to grow the renewable energy industry, help organisations take the next step in commercialising their technology and reduce deployment costs of renewable energy and energy storage,” he said.

Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

January 12, 2017 Posted by | ACT, business, energy, politics | Leave a comment

W.A. govt approves Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine, as uranium prices continue to decrease

text-uranium-hypeToro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine in Goldfields gets green light from WA Government, ABC News, By Jarrod Lucas, 9 Jan 17, Western Australia’s first uranium mine is a step closer after the state’s Environment Minister Albert Jacob granted approval for a project at Wiluna in the northern Goldfields.

The owners of the proposed mine, Toro Energy, still need the green light from Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

Toro told the stock market on Monday afternoon it hoped federal approval would be granted by March…..

, uranium miners rushing to get approvals in place before March’s state election were thwarted in their bid for a hat-trick when Canadian giant Cameco’s proposed Yeelirrie mine was knocked back on environmental grounds last year……

Drop in Australian uranium production predicted

Uranium prices remain near historic lows, depressed since the 2011 Japanese tsunami sent the Fukushima plant into multiple meltdowns.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science today released its Resources and Energy Quarterly which forecast Australian uranium production to decrease by 6.8 per cent this financial year to 7,141 tonnes……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-09/toro-energy-wiluna-uranium-mine-approved-by-wa-government/8171398

January 11, 2017 Posted by | business, politics, uranium, Western Australia | 1 Comment

The Australian tax-payer is the sole investor in Adani’s coal export plans.

Aside from the culture, environment and cost, is Adani a good investment?, The Age, Julien Vincent , 13 Dec 16, 

The Australian public is the sole investor in Adani’s coal export plans.

Adani is an Indian conglomerate that wants to build the largest thermal coal mine in Australia, a rail line of almost 400 kilometres connecting it to the coast, and a coal export terminal in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The coal would be shipped out through the reef, giving it a perfect view of the bleaching and mortality that has been decimating our valuable natural icon recently before being burned in power stations overseas, only to further contribute to climate change and ocean acidification, considered the greatest long-term risks to the reef.

Given that the reef sustains 60,000 jobs and provides $6 billion per year of economic benefit to Australia, investors may want to consider conflicts of interest before moving ahead.

Some other niggling environmental risks investors might want to consider is the drainage of 12 billion litres per year of water from the Great Artesian Basin and the impacts of coal dust on people’s health along the transport corridor, along with particulate matter from the power stations as the coal is burned.

coal CarmichaelMine2

We’d also want to be content with supporting a mine that has not received free, prior and informed consent from traditional owners, potentially making this a major human rights issue.

But enough of the existential threats posed to culture, people, sites of natural World Heritage and the climate.

Let’s look at the numbers. Last week’s proposal by the Australian government of a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund means as investors we need to understand the business case.

First of all, don’t be put off by Adani’s corporate debt, which is two-and-a-half times the size of the company. Or the fact that Adani’s share price is down 20 per cent this year. This loan would actually be going to Adani’s private family company, based in Singapore and ultimately owned by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands, where we can be sure the money will be totally secure.

The mine will supply new coal power stations in India, whose power minister said yesterday would not be required until 2022, and who wants to get India off imported coal within the next few years. The power will only cost twice that of new renewable energy, and so an exciting market has been identified among those living in energy poverty.

Should the India option fail, the coal could be sold onto the seaborne market, which has declined by 10 per cent in recent years, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bernstein and others declaring it in structural decline.

Conditions like these have frightened off a few more faint-hearted commentators, such as the Queensland Treasury under the Newman government, which described the project as unbankable. Or Wood Mackenzie, which still considers the project as having a negative net present value.

Should the India option fail, the coal could be sold onto the seaborne market, which has declined by 10 per cent in recent years, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bernstein and others declaring it in structural decline.

Conditions like these have frightened off a few more faint-hearted commentators, such as the Queensland Treasury under the Newman government, which described the project as unbankable. Or Wood Mackenzie, which still considers the project as having a negative net present value…….

It’s clear that our investment is going to make a major difference. But will it be enough? $1 billion is a huge lifeline but depending on what assumptions you make about the scale of the project or who you’re prepared to believe, this project is going to cost anywhere from $7 billion to $21 billion……http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/aside-from-the-culture-environment-and-cost-is-adani-a-good-investment-20161213-gta0nq.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – jobs growth with renewable energy

green-collarRenewable jobs grow as ACT drives down emissions from government operations by 17 per cent in three years, Canberra Times, Katie Burgess, 13 Dec 16,  Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change has revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

Ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting on Wednesday, climate change minister Shane Rattenbury said he would push other states and territories to take up their own renewable energy targets.

“We must not allow the federal government’s inaction to limit what we can achieve at a state and territory level. The ACT is a great example of what subnational governments can achieve. We are on track to meet our 100 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020 and to become Australia’s first zero emission jurisdiction by 2050,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Emissions from government operations have fallen 17 per cent since 2012-2013, the report also revealed. The ACT government is aiming to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2020……http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/renewable-jobs-grow-as-act-drives-down-emissions-from-government-operations-by-17-per-cent-in-three-years-20161213-gta1ha.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | ACT, employment, energy | Leave a comment

Australia’s electricity industry strongly calls for a carbon price, and switch to clean energy

Electricity industry pushes for carbon price to aid transition to clean energy system http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/electricity-industry-push-for-a-carbon-price/8104642  By political reporter Naomi Woodley Australia’s electricity industry has issued a strongly worded plea to federal and state governments to quickly decide on ways to transform Australia’s ageing energy grid.

In a joint statement released ahead of tomorrow’s Council of Australian Governments meeting, the groups representing generators, distributors and retailers say a national, market-based carbon price is the best option to make the transition to a cleaner energy system.

carbon-price

The Australian Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia said without change, customers face higher prices and an increasingly unstable electricity supply. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Not justified, not financially viable – Adani’s huge coal mine project

Adani’s mega mine neither financially viable nor justified, says energy analyst, ABC News,  By Casey Briggs, 8 Dec 16, Adani’s mega coal mine in north Queensland is neither “financially viable nor strategically required” an energy commentator claims.

coal CarmichaelMine2

The mining giant will begin construction on its $22 billion Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee basin in central Queensland next year.

This week, Adani announced the mine’s regional headquarters will be in Townsville, and the State Government is promoting an “ironclad” handshake deal with the company to source workers from regional Queensland.

Despite the announcements, energy analyst Tim Buckley from the anti-coal think tank The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said there is still doubt over whether the mine is even viable.

“All of my financial analysis over the last four years says the mine is neither financially viable nor strategically required or justified,” Mr Buckley said.

“Financial closure is going to be a major obstacle, I have absolutely no doubt.”

“As the company has admitted, they have not been talking to any financial institutions about this project”

Federal government should study India first

A number of Australian and international banks have reportedly ruled out financing the mine. Adani has also applied for public financing for a $1 billion rail link from the Commonwealth Government, but it’s unclear if the loan will be granted.

Mr Buckley said the Indian Government’s plans to reduce and potentially end coal imports threatens the justification for the project. “[The Australian Government should] go and study what’s happening in India … before they give a billion dollars in taxpayer subsidy to a foreign billionaire who made an investment decision at the height of the coal boom in 2011 and hasn’t progressed the project for six years,” said Mr Buckley.

At the Paris climate summit in November 2015 India’s prime minister Narendra Modi declared that in the 21st century “the world must turn to the sun to power the future”…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/adani-mega-mine-neither-viable-nor-required-says-analyst/8100906

 

December 9, 2016 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining companies going down the gurgler?

burial.uranium-industryWriting on the wall for Paladin Energy Ltd, The Motley Fool,  Mike King – December 1, 2016 Uranium miner Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) faces the prospect of being unable to repay US$212 million due in April 2017 and being forced into liquidation.

The troubled company has seen its share price slump more than 65% this year alone. The planned sale of 24% of its Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) to CNNC Overseas Uranium Holdings (COUH) for US$175 million appears unlikely to complete before the end of 2016. Now Paladin has been forced to consider other ‘contingencies’ to repay the 2017 convertible bonds.

Not only that but Paladin also needs to raise working capital as it struggles to generate positive cash flow with uranium prices trading under US$20 per pound – the lowest prices in more than 12 years. As Paladin admits, that’s a level that no producer in the world can sustainably break even, and most producers are experiencing negative cash flows.

That’s a long way away from Paladin’s all-in cash expenditure of extracting uranium of US$38.75 per pound (lb). Even the company’s C1 cash costs of US$25.88/lb are well above the spot price of uranium. Paladin is forecasting all-in costs of around US$30/lb for the 2017 financial year, but it’s clear that even at that level, the company is going backwards.

Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX: ERA), majority owned by Rio Tinto Limited(ASX: RIO) faces a similar prospect to Paladin and is likely to shut up shop in 2021, once it has finished processing stockpiles at its Ranger uranium mine.

The problem for uranium miners around the world is that since the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011, uranium prices have steadily fallen from above US$60/lb to its current price under US$20/lb……

Paladin faces the prospect of sinking into administration unless it can find a white knight willing to take a minority stake in its mine – or make an outright bid for the whole company.

That appears highly unlikely.  http://www.fool.com.au/2016/12/01/writing-on-the-wall-for-paladin-energy-ltd/

 

 

December 5, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Toro Energy, uranium miner, CEO Vanessa Guthrie chucks away the poisoned uranium chalice

Guthrie poisoned-chalice-3Toro Energy rings in the changes at the top as Dr Vanessa Guthrie departs http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/169921/toro-energy-rings-in-the-changes-at-the-top-as-dr-vanessa-guthrie-departs-169921.html

 05 Dec 2016 Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) has outlined this morning that long-serving managing director, Dr Vanessa Guthrie, will depart the company immediately. Toro’s flagship asset is the Wiluna Uranium Project.

The Centipede and Lake Way deposits being the first Western Australian uranium deposits to secure state and federal government environmental approvals and agreement with the Traditional Owners, the Wiluna People.

Toro Energy Ltd valued at A$0.07 per share by broker   [Doesn’t sound too good, does it?]01 Sep 2016 Dundee Capital Markets noted: “We recommend Toro Energy as a NEUTRAL and maintain our target price at A$0.07, based on a 0.8x multiple applied to our 10% DCF estimate.”…..http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/165280/toro-energy-ltd-valued-at-a007-per-share-by-broker-70782.html

December 5, 2016 Posted by | business, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australian solar power technology sold to China, by CSIRO

Solar-Farm-CanberraCSIRO sells concentrated solar power technology to China, The Age, Marcus Strom , 28 Nov 16  The CSIRO on Tuesday will sign a technology licensing agreement with a Chinese solar company that could reap millions of dollars in royalties for the national science and industry organisation. The deal with Beijing-based Thermal Focus will allow the company to bid for business in the burgeoning Chinese market for concentrated solar power using Australian-designed technology.

China aims to build infrastructure that produces 1.4 gigawatts of concentrated solar power by 2018, increasing this to 5GW by 2020.

“To put that into perspective, Australia has 50GW capacity in all its power stations,” said Wes Stein, CSIRO’s chief energy research scientist. John Grimes, of the Australian Solar Council, said: “This is a significant commercial opportunity, perhaps worth hundreds of millions.” CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said: “This partnership takes our climate mitigation focus to a global stage.”

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said: “Australia is a leader in clean energy technology and this partnership is an important step in realising this advantage.”

The partnership will be signed at the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference at the Australian National University.  Phil Hearne

Concentrated solar power, or solar thermal, uses mirrors to focus the sun’s energy into a collector. At collected temperatures of 560 degrees, that energy is then stored in molten nitrate salts in large thermal tanks. This can then generate superheated steam to drive turbines for electricity generation for weeks.

CSIRO’s patented technology uses smaller mirrors of about five square metres, known as heliostats, and field-control software to direct the solar energy. The technology was pioneered at the CSIRO’s energy centre in Newcastle. The solar thermal team has grown to more than 30 scientists and engineers.

Mr Stein said: “The big difference with photovoltaic cells is that our technology has storage embedded at a lower cost than batteries.”

A CSIRO spokesman said the licensing agreement covered a technology transfer payment with recurring royalties for the number of heliostats installed……

John Grimes at the Australian Solar Council said: “CSP with storage is the missing link in China’s renewable energy market.” Mr Grimes said what gave this deal credibility was that the Chinese had delivered on their plans in renewables. “Already China has installed 120GW of solar photovoltaic cells,” he said. “It really is a world leader in this field.” Its commitment was partly due to a combination of environmental concerns, cost effectiveness and air-quality pressures in cities, Mr Grimes said.

There are no commercial plants operating concentrated solar thermal technology in Australia. He said this was because government leadership in Australia had been lacking.

However, there are some companies working towards this: Vast SolarSolarReserve and SolarStor, which is backed by former Liberal leader John Hewson.

SolarStor plans to build a concentrated thermal plant near Port Augusta, South Australia, as does US firm SolarReserve.

The solar deal comes a day after an interim report by a Senate committee recommended all Australian coal mines close by 2030.

The retirement of coal-fired power stations report committee is chaired by Greens senator Larissa Waters. Its final report will be handed down on February 1.  http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-sells-concentrated-solar-power-technology-to-china-20161128-gsz8gh.html

November 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, solar | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton living in la la land on uranium: mining giant faces difficult questions at its Annual General Meeting  

 

BHPB-sad16th November 2016 Company Directors of BHP Billiton will face some difficult questions tomorrow at the mining giants Annual General Meeting in Brisbane.   The operator of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s north has been receiving much attention over the past year after the tailings dam collapse at its jointly owned Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in November 2015, causing what’s been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.

Anti-nuclear and social justice campaigner Adam Sharah is one of several delegates attending the meeting to challenge company directors on matters including the Samarco disaster and issues surrounding the Olympic Dam mine. Mr Sharah will question company directors about BHP Billiton’s position regarding nuclear regulation in Australia, new expansion plans for Olympic Dam, and plans to increase the height of the tailings dams at the mine.

In its submission to the recent South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, BHP Billiton recommended that nuclear actions should not be regulated under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the key piece of legislation for environmental protection in Australia, on the basis that uranium is just like any other mineral.  The company claims that “there is no scientific basis for uranium mining to be defined as a Matter of Environmental Significance…”[1]

“BHP Billiton is in la la land if they still believe that uranium is just like any other metal – no other metal has such an enormous range of international treaties – uranium is fundamentally risky, and BHP Billiton should act accordingly,” said leading Environmental Engineering academic, Dr Gavin Mudd.

“What would have been the impact of the tailings dam collapse in Brazil if the tailings were radioactive?” asks Adam Sharah. “Uranium and the tailings produced by uranium mining are unique both in their health and long term environmental impacts.”

“In the wake of the tailings dam  collapse in Brazil, there are concerns here in Australia about reports that BHP Billiton are seeking approval to increase the height of their tailings dams at the Olympic Dam mine,” continued Mr Sharah. “It is important that the company clarify this for the Australian public, Aboriginal custodians of the area, and its shareholders.”

Mr Sharah will also seek clarification on the progress of the company’s plans for an on-site heap leach trial at Olympic Dam as part of a cheaper expansion plan, after it shelved it’s grand expansion plans in 2012.

“It is always a concern when corporations start seeking cheaper, cost-cutting alternatives,” said Nectaria Calan, of BHP Billiton Watch. “These concerns are magnified by the fact that federal approval of the heap leach trial did not require any environmental assessment even though heap leach mining is not a method currently used on-site at the Olympic Dam mine.”

“Yet despite by-passing environmental assessment for the trial, and despite the legal privileges and exemptions BHP Billiton enjoy under the Indenture Act, which only applies to the Olympic Dam mine, the company is still lobbying through forums such as the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to reduce regulation further.  This type of regulatory race to the bottom, characteristic of third world nations competing for foreign capital, will only make disasters like Brazils more common.”

BHP Billiton’s AGM will be held on Thursday 17th November, 11 am, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

November 16, 2016 Posted by | business, legal, politics, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

Jobs in a clean energy future

  http://apo.org.au/resource/jobs-clean-energy-future

25 October 2016   Download file

The Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions have come together to show we can steer our economy to create a fair society in which all living things can thrive.

By committing to the Paris Agreement, the world recognised the need to work together to keep global warming well below 2 degrees. Around the world, other governments are embracing the opportunities of transitioning to a clean energy future. But at home, Australia’s pollution continues to rise and Australia remains as one of the biggest per capita polluters in the world. There is still no coherent national plan to transition Australia to a net zero emissions economy.

Jobs in a clean energy future updates our 2010 collaboration Creating Jobs – Cutting Pollution and demonstrates, yet again, that creating a brighter future for the Australian community and our environment go hand in hand.

This report presents a clear choice. If Australia continues with business as usual, pollution will continue to rise and the health of the people and our natural world will continue to deteriorate. If the government acts now and implements policies under a strong action scenario we can create one million more jobs by 2040. People and nature will be better off and the places we love will thrive. If we increase public transport and clean energy Australia’s cities, towns and regions will be more liveable, smarter and healthier places to live. By embracing these opportunities Australia can be a world leader and create jobs and industries that are at the forefront of the transition.

October 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy | Leave a comment

‘reckless’ and ‘indefensible’ Carmichael coal mine approved by Queensland govt

coal CarmichaelMine2Queensland fast tracks ‘reckless’ and ‘indefensible’ Carmichael coal mine, Independent Australia  Renew Economy 11 October 2016 Minus financial backing, reneging on the Paris Agreement and even ignoring Adani’s own loss of interest in the project, the Queensland Government is fast tracking the Carmichael coal mine, writesRenewEconomy‘s Sophie Vorrath.

IN A MOVE that has been labelled “indefensible” and “reckless” by green groups, the Queensland Government has declared the massive Carmichael coal mine and port proposed for the State’s Galilee Basin as “critical infrastructure”, in an effort to fast-track its development.

State development minister Anthony Lynhamsaid on Monday that the Labor PalaszczukGovernment had invoked special powers to help progress Adani’s $21 billion project, reinstating and expanding its “prescribed project” status to include its water infrastructure…….

while governments of all colours appear to be rolling out the red carpet for the coal project, there are other hurdles it has yet to clear – not least of all economic ones – as coal looks more and more like a high-risk investment.

As John Quiggan wrote last month, a long list of banks and other funding sources have announced they won’t touch the project, or have pulled out of existing finance arrangements.

The list includes the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (formerly a big lender to Adani), NAB, the Queensland Treasury and global banks including Standard Chartered (another former big lender), Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays, as well as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale. The U.S. and Korean Export-Import banks and the State Bank of India have been touted as possible sources, but appear to have backed away.

Even Adani Group, the Indian conglomerate behind the project, has appeared to lose interest in its coal plans. And just this week, the energy minister for India – the main market for the coal that would be dug up at Carmichael – called on the country’s power generators to cease coal imports if the nation was to come good on its “One Nation, One Grid, One Price” energy goal…..https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/queensland-fast-tracks-reckless-and-indefensible-carmichael-coal-mine,9578

October 11, 2016 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Uranium mining companies desperate to survive, but no improved market in sight

burial.uranium-industryDesperate uranium miners switch to survival mode despite nuclear rebound, Reuters, By Geert De Clercq 7 OCT 16  LONDON   “……..BULGING INVENTORIES  Mining executives partly blame the slump on their customers’ wait-and-see attitude, as utilities believe that the uranium market’s over-capacity will persist for years and see no need to rebuild their dwindling stockpiles.

Demand for uranium is determined by the number of nuclear plants in operation worldwide, but supply and demand are disjointed by huge stocks and uranium’s long production cycle……..

In the five years before Fukushima, utilities worldwide bought about 200 million pounds of uranium per year, he said. Although Japan’s consumption averaged only around 25 million pounds per year, when it closed its reactors demand was cut far further, falling by half. European and U.S. utilities saw that the market was over-supplied and reduced inventories, buying less.

Mining firm Energy Fuels estimates global uranium stocks held by utilities, miners and governments are now at around 1 billion pounds. That is down from a peak around 2.5 billion pounds in 1990, but still many years’ worth of consumption.

Despite the plunge in uranium prices after the 2008 financial crisis and again after Fukushima, uranium production has doubled from 80-90 million pounds in the mid-1990s to about 160 million pounds last year, according to Energy Fuels data……

DESPERATE TIMES

With so much new supply, and demand sliding, prices have fallen to a level where most uranium miners operate at a loss.

“At today’s spot prices, the primary uranium mining industry is not sustainable,” US uranium producer Energy Fuels COO Mark Chalmers told the World Nuclear Association’s London conference last month.

He added that many legacy long-term supply contracts will expire in 2017-18, which will force many mines to close or throttle back even further than they already have.

Miners like Canada’s Cameco, France’s Areva and the uranium arms of global mining companies have closed or mothballed several mines and deferred new projects in order to cut back supply.

Paladin – the world’s second-largest independent pure-play uranium miner after Cameco and the seventh or eighth-largest globally – has production capacity of 8 million pounds of yellowcake uranium but produced just 4.9 million pounds last year at its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia.

Molyneux said the firm will produce about 4 million pounds this year and will cut output further to about 3.5 million pounds next year if prices do not recover.

Paladin suspended production at its 2.3 million pounds per year capacity Kayelekera mine in northern Malawi in 2014 but maintains equipment so it can resume when prices recover.

Meanwhile it is trying to further reduce its debt, which already fell from $1.2 billion five years ago to $362 million.

Paladin has agreed to sell 24 pct of Langer Heinrich to the China National Nuclear Company and plans to use the expected proceeds of 175 million dollars to further reduce debt.

Bigger peer Cameco in April suspended production at its Rabbit Lake, Canada mine while also curtailing output across its U.S. operations, saying market conditions could not support the operating and capital costs needed to sustain production.

Cameco marketing head Tim Gabruch told the WNA conference that “desperate times call for desperate measures”.

Supply adjustments and producer discipline had not yet been sufficient to counter the loss of demand, he said.”As difficult as those decisions have been, we recognize that those actions may not be enough.”(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by Peter Graff) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uranium-nuclearpower-idUSKCN1230EF

October 8, 2016 Posted by | business, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

West Australian wave energy company in CETO wave farm deal with Sri Lankan company

wave-energy-carnegie-ceto-systemCarnegie Wave Energy up on Sri Lankan agreement https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32773367/carnegie-wave-energy-up-on-sri-lankan-agreement/#page1 –  on September 30, 2016

The wave energy firm will work with Lanka Energy Conservation to identify opportunities and development pathways for its technology on the island nation.

Specifically the two companies will examine opportunities to enable CETO wave farms to be integrated into the existing or new power infrastructure to supply clean power and freshwater.

Carnegie’s chief operating officer Greg Allen said the company had made significant progress in its entry into the “small island” market this year.

“The signing of this MOU provides us with another opportunity to provide services to explore the possibility of incorporating CETO, along with microgrid solutions, to enable high penetration of renewable energy, displacing imported diesel,” he said.

Mr Allen said island nations were assessing clean, cost effective, alternative energy solutions to remove their reliance on electricity generated using imported fossil fuels.

“These imported fossil fuels come at a high cost, do not provide energy security and have a significant environmental footprint,” he said.

“Carnegie presents an effective clean energy alternative that can provide a solution for island and fringe of grid communities globally.” Lanka Energy Conservation chairman and managing director Dammica Wickramaratne said Sri Lanka showed good potential for wave, solar and wind energy power.

 

October 3, 2016 Posted by | business, energy, Western Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s nuclear dump plan – fool’s gold? – senior Liberal MP

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankruptSA nuclear dump dreams just fool’s gold: senior Lib, The Australian, September 29, 2016, byMichael Owen  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/sa-nuclear-dump-dreams-just-fools-gold-senior-lib/news-story/a595649777c14703159a462c5d9cb34f

A senior Liberal has broken ranks in what had been a bipart­isan approach to inquire into the potential for South Australia to host a repository for the world’s high-level nuclear waste, warning that taxpayers risked wasting money “on fool’s gold”.

Rob Lucas, a former state treasurer and the opposition’s Treasury spokesman, told ­parliament that intense political pressures would make it near ­impossible for there to be the ­required bipartisan support at both federal and state level for the necessary legislative changes to allow such a facility.

Mr Lucas, a member of parliament’s joint committee on the findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, also cast doubt on the potential eco­nomic benefits, warning it was not possible to verify “some of the financial ­estimates in terms of what the state might earn from this facility”.

The Scarce royal commission’s final report, delivered in May, found that building a nuc­lear waste dump in South Australia could bring in an extra $100 billion over 120 years.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill — who faces resistance from federal Labor and his own Left faction — has said cabin­et would make a decis­ion in November as to whether to progress the propo­s­al, after ­extensive commun­ity con­­sult­ation. Latest opinion polls show South Australians almost equally divided on the issue.

Last night, Mr Weatherill, who returned this week from touring the world’s first permanent nuclear waste storage facility in Finland, told The Aust­ralian he understood the com­plex­ities. “I do agree that this issue poses challenges, not the least for my party, but I feel duty bound to act in South Australia’s and the national interest in progressing this debate,” he said.

Mr Lucas said it would be a “courageous Liberal candidate or member in a federal campaign who would be out there campaigning hard to support Premier Weatherill on a nuclear waste dump or facility’’ in his state.

“At an upcoming federal elect­ion … (there will be) federal Labor candidates campaigning in South Australia against a ­nuclear waste facility in South Australia and potentially candid­ates from the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team campaigning against a nuclear waste dump or facility (there). If there is not going to be the support of the federal Labor Party, then we, the taxpayers of South Australia, will be spending tens and maybe hundreds of ­millions of dollars on fool’s gold — fool’s uranium, fool’s nuclear waste dumps.”

September 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics, South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment