Australian news, and some related international items

BHP, Rio Tinto, Paladin want uranium sales to Russia, and no mining tax

The Australian Uranium Association says one of the first tests of Labor’s continuing support for the industry will be whether it goes ahead with uranium sales to Russia,…..also sought reassurances from the new Gillard government that her proposed 30 percent tax on iron ore and coal mines will not be extended to the uranium industry.

Australia uranium industry concerned over new govt  Sep 9, 2010  SYDNEY, Sept 9 (Reuters) by Mark Bendeich Continue reading

September 10, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia’s”ethical” investments not always ethical when it comes to uranium

what about uranium mining?…. many consider uranium mining to be one of the most unethical activities of all.

A world of opportunities, Sydney Morning Herald, David Potts. September 6, 2010 -Ethical investment is a moral minefield …..there’s a fine line between what’s ethical and what’s mainstream. Continue reading

September 8, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, religion and ethics, uranium | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Centre for Geomechanics to “scrutinise” Western Australia’s uranium mining

The tender was awarded to the Australian Centre for Geomechanics,…The new group comes as several resources companies including BHP Billiton and Toro Energy are vying to develop the state’s first uranium mine, which could be as early as 2013.

Experts appointed to scrutinise WA uranium , Rebecca Laws, on  Perth Now , August 23, 2010 The State Government has appointed an independent group of experts to implement a regulatory framework for WA’s emerging uranium sector. Continue reading

August 26, 2010 Posted by | legal, uranium, Western Australia | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only the Greens dared mention nuclear issues

Australians watched in amazement and amusement, as the media and election campaigns focused on personalities, buzz words, mantras – “going forward“real action”. If possible – anything but policies, it would seem.

Focus groups, daily opinion polls, and good old spin – these were the factors driving Australia’s ever dumber election campaigns by the major parties.

Some real policies got a mention, – seemingly in inverse relationship to their importance.

What got little mention is Global Warming, Climate Change.

What got no mention at all- the nuclear issue.

It must have come as a shock to Australia’s major political parties to realise that The Greens do have leaders of vision – Bob Brown, and Christine Milne. These leaders do have clear policies on Climate Change, uranium mining, and nuclear power.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, climate change - global warming, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP, Rio – relatively small employers, with big political influence

For such an economically important industry, mining is a relatively small employer (the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not rank it in the top 10 industries by employment)….The mining industry, however, is streets ahead in being able to exercise political influence.

Follow the miners in lobbying , Mike Riddiford, The Australian, August 04, 2010“……..Between them, companies such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata turn over more than $100 billion a year. This enables them to mobilise huge resources to protect their interests. Continue reading

August 5, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia gambles on the dodgy uranium industry

You do wonder where Australian politics is heading. Clearly the big uranium miners BHP, Rio Tinto, ExStrata, are now dictating Labor policy on mining tax. (They have always dictated Liberal policy).  Some ambitious union leaders are also hand in glove with those big miners, as are the South Australian and Western Australian governments.

Those States, and the Northern Territory are crawling with uranium explorers, and  uranium mining is being hyped in the media.  Yet  uranium prices fall, and the nuclear industry stalls in USA, Europe, Britain.

Australia pitches its glowing uranium prospects on China.  China is  notorious for corruption, including in the nuclear industry, it has  dubious safety and nuclear waste management,  and a keen nuclear weapons program. But apart from all that –  China might wake up to the financial and environmental negatives of nuclear power.

While China itself, and Europe, and soon, even USA,  show the way on 21st Century renewable energy technologies, Australia is gambling on a very dodgy future of uranium sales.

August 3, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium miners stack Australia’s group for mines tax policy

the policy-transition group will be headed by former BHP chairman Don Argus and Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson.

Toro Energy CEO joins big miners in Labor’s mines tax policy team, The Australian * Rachel Pannett * From: Dow Jones Newswires * August 03, 2010

WAYNE Swan today named former and serving resource executives ……. to the government’s mines tax policy team. The policy-transition group now includes…..  former Rio Tinto executive David Klingner, Erica Smyth, chairman of uranium explorer Toro Energy….. and BHP Billiton),….. Continue reading

August 3, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Brown scathing about the resources tax gift to the big miners

A tax on minerals like uranium should be implemented once the industry was in “boom times” he [Bob Brown, Greens leader] said.

Major parties ‘missing backbone’ on mining tax, Sydney Morning Herald, KATHERINE FENECH, August 2, “…..The CFMEU has launched the satirical ad campaign, which praises Opposition leader Tony Abbott for understanding the pressures facing “ordinary, everyday billionaires”, in response to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ own advertising onslaught against the Mineral Resources Rent Tax. Continue reading

August 3, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Young activists spread anti-nuclear message across Australia

Since returning, solidarity bus riders have addressed public meetings in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. Several are taking part in the Friends of the Earth Nuclear Freeways tour

Protesters issue warning on Olympic Dam expansion, Green Left Weekly, August 1, 2010, By Patrick Harrison After spending over two weeks on the road together, students and activists onboard the New South Wales “Indigenous Solidarity Ride” stopped at Olympic Dam on July 15 to protest against a proposed uranium mine expansion. Continue reading

August 2, 2010 Posted by | General News, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AUSTRALIAN ELECTION and the NUCLEAR INDUSTRY – our theme for August 2010

Australia faces an election on August 21. The major political parties are united in one policy – that is –keeping quiet  about nuclear power. And Julia Gillard – Labor, and Tony Abbott – Liberal-Coalition,  have got plenty to shut up about.

Both Labor and Liberal are beholden to their corporate masters. In the case of Labor, this was shown in a dramatic way, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard kow towed over the planned Super Profit Resources tax. And, with the new, tamed, Resources Rent Tax – uranium mining is exempt even from that one.

The Liberal Coalition used to be blatantly in favour of a nuclear Australia. Now, with the election looming, only a few of their maverick MPs will state this out loud.

Under the radar, the powerful and well-funded nuclear lobby is working away at both parties –  for uranium/nuclear policies to be revealed after the election is safely over.

July 30, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, energy, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP- cutting staff, new Environmental Impact Statement on OLympic Dam uranium mine expansion

The decision is understood to affect about 150 staff…..BHP is preparing a supplementary environmental impact statement in response to public consultation on its draft EIS for the Olympic Dam expansion.

BHP to move white-collar jobs interstate and overseas Gavin Lower .  The Australian July 23, 2010 Continue reading

July 24, 2010 Posted by | Olympic Dam, politics, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protest at Olympic Dam against effects on Aborigines, water, pollution

Zane Alcorn said: “Not only is the expansion at Olympic Dam going ahead without the consent of traditional owners, but tens of thousands of gigalitres of water per day is being sucked out of the Artesian Basin on Arabunna land to service the mine.

Protesters block mine. Roxby Downs Sun, 22 Jul, 2010 Forty anti-nuclear activists staged a protest on Friday against the Olympic Dam expansion, blockading the entrance and stopping traffic from entering.

The protest aimed to highlight the “catastrophic effects” the mine and its expansion would have on traditional owners and their natural resources. Activists painted themselves blue and used their bodies to spell words such as water, with some people partly naked to help draw attention to their views. Continue reading

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Olympic Dam, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Greed and stupidity in uranium investment world

You would think that investors would wake up to the hype!  The so-called “nuclear renaissance” is just not happening.

Even the market for nuclear weapons is now looking dodgy – these being no protection whatever from terrorists, (in fact  a target for them)

China is looking to slow down its economy.-  China’s supposed  great uranium binge is a BHP executives’ fantasy

There is  a glut of uranium supply, made worse by the weapons reduction program, which now supplies  uranium (mining not needed)

From today’s CTV News: Despite the low spot and term prices, uranium producers have shown almost no discipline by reducing current or planned output,”…Despite falling uranium prices, worldwide spending on exploration and mine development grew 133 per cent to $1.6-billion in 2008 from 2006″

In sunny Australia, passing up the chance to develop 21st Century renewables,  we are mindlessly letting banks, super funds etc,  put our money into this gaping hole of impending loss – the almost certainly doomed uranium industry.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World’s biggest uranium hole, BHP’s Olympic Dam. in doubt

“we are hearing from engineering circles that BHP has gone cold on the project. And it’s my gut feeling that the enthusiasm isn’t quite there any more.” – shadow mining minister Mitch Williams

Hole lot of trouble for BHP – The Independent  Weekly,  KEVIN NAUGHTON, 17 Jul, 2010 BHP Billiton’s Clark Shaft at Olympic Dam is set to return to full production, ending a nine-month lull in copper and uranium output.

But the news comes as speculation again surfaces about the company’s long-term plans for the mine…….

Continue reading

July 18, 2010 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stop BHP’s expansion of Olympic Dam Uranium Mine

Zane Alcorn, said their purpose was to highlight the catastrophic effects the mine and its planned expansion would have on traditional owners, their land and future generations…..tens of thousands of gigalitres of water per day is being sucked out of the Artesian Basin on Arabunna land to service the mine,”

Protesters gather at mine site, Sydney Morning Herald, July 16, 2010 An anti-nuclear protester has chained himself to a four-wheel-drive blocking the road to BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s far north. Continue reading

July 17, 2010 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment