Australian news, and some related international items

Aborigines, unions voice anger at BHP Billiton’s uranium mining plans

“The WA mining industry, and BHP in particular, has a poor worker safety record and uranium mining poses even greater health risks as uranium mine workers are exposed to radiation from the ore itself and from the inhalation of radon gas,”

Anger at BHP’s Yeelirrie uranium project  Perth Now Russell Quinn & Rebecca Lawson,  November 16, 2010 BHP Billiton has met with opposition from traditional owners over the development of the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine at its annual general meeting in Perth today. Continue reading

November 17, 2010 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton under fire over radioactive waste dumping

”This company plans to dump rather than to dispose of their radioactive wastes, and do not intend to rehabilitate the proposed open pit, intending instead to leave a toxic lake as a permanent scar on the landscape,”

BHP boss faces a grilling, Sydney Morning Herald, Mathew MurphyNovember 15, 2010 BHP Billiton boss Marius Kloppers will come under pressure from shareholders at tomorrow’s annual meeting…… Continue reading

November 15, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear power spinners – theme for November

It is well accepted, (even by Ziggy Switkowski in his 2006 report) that Australia does not need nuclear power. Yet, Ziggy and other old nuclear lobbyists are now urgently “spinning” , promoting nuclear energy for Australia. And new spinners are joining them

Apologies to Bob Hawke – I left that old attention-seeker off the picture!

One reason for this nuclear spinning is the fact that Australia will be expected to take back international wastes, as part of its uranium export industry. So, by getting Australia into the entire nuclear fuel cycle, this would make a smoother transition from “our” nuclear wastes, to “theirs” too.

The radioactive waste question is becoming critical in Australia – with the government’s attempt to impose a dump on Aboriginal land, and with Lucas Heights wastes soon. due to return from England.

Hillary Clinton and  Robert Gates visited Australia. Their mission?  –  to get Australia deeper into the US military machine, with Western Australia, like Pine Gap, part of the Space War project.

The USA’s urgent nuclear waste problem might have been  on the agenda in talks with Julia Gillard. We, the great unwashed, would not know. (but for USA to export its nuclear rubbish to Australia could be a bit more difficult now –  since the European Union declared that export of nuclear waste overseas is unsafe)

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hazards in BHP’s planned export of uranium to China

“BHP propose precedent sale of uranium in copper concentrates to China…“This is not sanctioned under Australia’s nuclear treaties … it would compromise our safeguards and environmental responsibilities, and dump some 1.2 million tonnes of long-lived radioactive mine wastes in China every year.

‘Toxic lake’ future for Olympic Dam, Roxby Downs Sun, 25 Oct, 2010 02:26 BHP must present feasible alternatives to prevent or reduce the environmental impacts of the proposed Olympic Dam expansion in the next phase of the Environmental Impact Statement process, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) say. Continue reading

October 26, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton held accountable for environmental impacts of uranium mine expansion plan

Call on BHP to answer over Olympic Dam impacts, Australian Conservation Foundation,  David Noonan, 16 Oct 10

    BHP must present feasible alternatives to prevent or reduce the impacts of the proposed Olympic Dam open cut mine in the next phase of the Environmental Impact Statement process, including: considering copper mining alone – without uranium exports; properly managing radioactive liquid wastes and tailings; using renewable energy for its large new electricity demands; and protecting the fragile gulf environment from impacts from the mine’s proposed water supply. Continue reading

October 16, 2010 Posted by | environment, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expansion plans for Olympic Dam uranium mine need public scrutiny

BHP upgrades Olympic Dam forecasts | Adelaide Now SARAH MARTIN,The Advertiser October 15, 2010 …..Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the company’s plans to double expansion should require it to submit a revised EIS allowing further public consultation.”This has major implications for BHP Billiton and its shareholders,” Mr Parnell said.
“The State Government and BHP Billiton need to come clean with the South Australian people and reveal the full extent of this project, before any approvals are given,” he said…….BHP upgrades Olympic Dam forecasts | Adelaide Now

October 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton- uranium and coal miner – not an ethical investment

the problems of decommissioning nuclear power plants and disposal of waste and proliferation, as well as BHP’s carbon footprint, – reasons for not holding the company.

Turbocharged: ethical investments beat the market, Sydney Morning Herald  John Collett, October 13, 2010 “…….Some of the largest that run ”socially responsible” funds have BHP Billiton among their biggest shareholdings. It means their investors have more money in BHP than any other company. Continue reading

October 13, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, religion and ethics, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton and uranium mining – a bad investment

Across the globe from uranium mines to coal, nickel and copper BHP have a trail of bad human rights records, poor working conditions for workers, environmental damage and dodging responsibilities.

Tell BHP Billiton Uranium mining is bad investment!Uranium Free, Oct 10, In 2006 BHP Billiton bought up Western Mining Corporation and with it their uranium mine assets at Olympic Dam in South Australia and Yeelirrie in Western Australia. Since then people around Australia and internationally have been calling on BHP to back out of uranium, an expensive, toxic industry which produces radioactive waste and weapons usable material. Continue reading

October 5, 2010 Posted by | General News, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Slowdown in BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion plans

BHP May Consider Phased Olympic Dam Mine Expansion, Review Says   By Jacob Greber Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — BHP Billiton Ltd. told analysts it’s considering a revised expansion of its Olympic Dam copper- uranium mine in South Australia, the Australian Financial Review said. The company is considering a phased expansion, resulting in a slower increase in production than originally anticipated, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. BHP May Consider Phased Olympic Dam Mine Expansion, Review Says – BusinessWeek

September 28, 2010 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson – Australia’s Minister For the Uranium Industry?

Labor to expand uranium mining: report Business Spectator, 22 Sep 2010 The federal government will support uranium mining but not nuclear power, Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson told The Australian Financial Review. Mr Ferguson said he aims to oversee a large expansion of the uranium industry…..The stance threatens to create divisions in parliament. Recently the Green Party said it would use its power to try to stop planned uranium mines, phase out three existing mines and halt exports……Labor to expand uranium mining: report | News | Business Spectator

September 22, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium interests, not the public’s, served by BHP’s Marius Kloppers

A tax would favour international nuclear electricity generators and boost pressure to overturn Australia’s ban on nuclear generators. Both effects would aid BHP’s uranium interests.

BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers knows how to look after his shareholders’ interests, Paul Kerin The Australian, September 20, 2010 BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers’ touting of a carbon tax serves his shareholders’ interests — not the public’s.  Continue reading

September 20, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s Marius Kloppers’ strategy for uranium

Bear in mind too that BHP has its foot on the world’s biggest uranium deposit, at Olympic Dam in South Australia……..Olympic Dam, currently in the planning stages for a huge expansion, was key to BHP’s strategy to limit the impact of the resources rent tax and clearly it is central to its future energy strategy.

Kloppers plays strategic card by backing a carbon tax, Sydney Morning Herald,  Ian Verrender, September 18, 2010 “……Kloppers is no fool. Quite the contrary. Softly spoken with an uncharacteristically lilting Afrikaans accent, the youthful head of BHP Billiton is a master strategist, not just when it comes to commerce and digging holes but in the not-so-gentle art of political persuasion…. Continue reading

September 17, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, people, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The plot thickens in promotion of Olympic Dam Uranium Mine

Last month the Australian government set up a Mines Tax policy team. It is led by Don Argus, former chairman of uranium miner BHP Billiton. Other members are former uranium company Rio Tinto executive David Klingner, Erica Smyth, chairman of uranium explorer Toro Energy.

So, Australia’s mining tax policy is guided by uranium mining representatives.

And now, in a bold statement in facvour of a carbon tax, BHP Billiton’s Chief Executice officer Marius Kloppers sets the scene for BHP to increase its influence over Australia’s government.

It all sounds so good. But note that, in supporting action on Climate change, Kloppers promotes “alternative” energies to take over from coal.

I’ll bet that “alternative” will turn out to be one of those words like “renewable” and “clean” that are applied to nuclear power. And all in such good timing, as BHP Billiton is desperate to get its Olympic Dam uranium mine expansion happening.

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, climate change - global warming, energy, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia’s Parliament reported on degrading effect of uranium mining on Aboriginal people

The1997 Australian parliament report observes: ‘(The) history of uranium mining in Australia and its impact on Aboriginal people is deplorable. Past mining in places like Rum Jungle have left areas so degraded that traditional owners are unable to use them, while mines such as Ranger (also in the Northern Territory) have been forced on traditional owners against their will.” “Even at mines such as Olympic Dam,” it adds, “…there was deep concern at the reckless degradation of sacred sites and insensitivity to their culture.”

Enough of Uranium Mining, Say Aboriginal Communities. Galdu. Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, August 2010, “……..For decades, uranium mining has been a touchy subject for Aboriginal people. Hundreds of Aboriginal communities were cleared out into cattle stations, towns and cities in the fifties and sixties, when Australian and British governments tested atomic weapons in the South Australian desert and off the coast of Western Australia. Continue reading

August 27, 2010 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abbott govt would have BHP and Rio Tinto sell uranium to India

“Key beneficiaries of a coalition election win, and subsequent push for uranium exports to India, are likely to include Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton Ltd. Rio Tinto owns 68% of Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., operator of the Ranger uranium mine in Northern Territory, while BHP owns the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia.

Australia’s Opposition Would Export Uranium To India If Elected, Automated Trader, By Rachel Pannett Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRESSYDNEY 11 Aug 2010,Australia’s main opposition Liberal-National coalition of center-right parties said Tuesday it will open up uranium exports to India if it wins power in the federal election on Aug. 21…….. Continue reading

August 11, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , | Leave a comment