Friday, December 28, 2012

LNG WATCH: Australia adamant in supporting PNG LNG project

LNG WATCH: Australia adamant in supporting PNG LNG project:

 “It’s right that Australia should be there helping PNG in relation to what has the potential to be a transformational project for that country. So, it is easy to criticise these projects, at the end of the day, it’s happening, it matters greatly that it works well, and we need to be there, being the best friend that we can be and supporting that project.”



    A Canadian aboriginal chief in the third week of a hunger strike is urging prime minister Stephen Harper to "open his heart" and meet with native leaders angered by his policies as small impromptu protests spread beyond Canada's borders.

    Theresa Spence from the remote northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat has been fasting since December 11 and has vowed to continue until Mr Harper commits to talks on a litany of complaints, including new legislation that she says will harm native lands.

    I'm willing to suffer until the meeting goes on. Even if I don't make it, people will continue my journey.

    Like I keep saying, I'm willing to die for the people of First Nations because the suffering is too much.

    Canadian aboriginal chief Theresa Spence
    The campaign aims to draw attention to dismal conditions faced by many of the country's 1.2 million natives, including poverty, unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, addiction and high suicide rates.


    Battle to keep Kimberley wild, remote

    From:The Australian
    December 29, 201212:00AM

    AN 800km stretch of Kimberley coastline with horizontal waterfalls, crocodile-infested rivers and raging 12m tides is at a crossroads of development, caught between small-scale tourism and multi-billion-dollar mining.

    Worrorra elders, who have native title over an area stretching from King Sound, near Derby, to Kuri Bay, 370km north of Broome, voted last month to keep their country "clean, free and open". They want to close the land to future mining projects and focus instead on tourism.


    ALMOST 1000 junior mining and exploration stocks will enter 2013 in need of billions of dollars in new equity funding at a time when investor interest in the sector is waning dramatically.

    The number of listed resources stocks -- most of which have market capitalisations of less than $100 million -- ballooned over the past decade as the mining boom drove a surge in investments in speculative stocks.


    The Japanese whaling fleet, carrying armed Coast Guard officers, was on the move on Friday, local news reports said.

    The factory ship Nisshin Maru, two harpoon ships, and another that has acted as security vessel for the fleet were heading out in Japan's Inland Sea, according to Kyodo news.

    Already the whalers are weeks behind their usual departure time for the Antarctic.

    In recent weeks the Nisshin Maru made several short forays from port following a refit for what are believed to have been sea trials.


    "With the Coast Guard on board and the all vessels underway it appears that they are finally leaving," said Paul Watson, leader of the Sea Shepherd conservation group.

    Mr Watson said he did not expect the whalers to each the Antarctic until 21 January at the earliest.

    His group has four ships to meet the fleet, but has been restrained by a United States court from attacking the whalers.

  2. "Unless tomorrow brings a miraculous shift in current totalitarian govrnement trends, revolution may be all we have left…"

    LARGE-SCALE coal seam gas drilling would take place directly under suburban streets and backyards in Sydney under a proposal being assessed by the state's planning and infrastructure department.

    But the gas company AGL has ruled out using the controversial fracking technique at its proposed 66-well gasfield between Liverpool and Campbelltown.

    About 10,000 homes in the affected area, covering suburbs such as Currans Hill, Varroville, Kearns, Eschol Park and Denham Court, have been notified of the company's plans by newsletters.
    The proposal before the planning agency is for up to 66 wells at 11 sites. While the surface well heads are mostly between 300 and 400 metres from homes, the plan calls for underground drilling of up to 2.5 kilometres from the surface site, a radius that includes thousands of homes.

    The technique involves drilling a well about 700 metres down, then guiding the drill horizontally under the earth to reach sources of underground coal seam gas and create a path for it to be brought to the surface.

    But some residents believe not enough is known about methane leaks that appear to be caused by large-scale gas drilling.

    They fear that by sucking water and gas up from underground, some gas will find other ways up to the surface, and could end up leaking through fissures in the ground and emerging in suburbs.

    ''We're concerned with what we're seeing in Tara in Queensland,'' said Jacqui Kirkby, of the Scenic Hills Association, which opposes coal seam gas drilling in the district.

    ''Once you de-water a coal seam, the gas can find its way up to the surface and goes wherever it can.''

    At the Tara gasfield on the Western Downs, high levels of methane, carbon dioxide and other compounds have been detected at distances of several kilometres from drilling sites.


    Mines Minister Norman Moore has been accused of stifling debate on the controversial gas exploration technique known as fracking after intervening to pull an environmentalist speaker from the line-up of two public forums.

    Mr Moore threatened to stop Department of Mines representatives from speaking at the Dongara and Eneabba forums in June if Doctors for the Environment WA chairman George Crisp was also allowed to speak.

    The WA Nationals organised the meetings to educate the Mid West community about the hydraulic fracturing process and MLC Phil Gardiner invited Dr Crisp to speak.

    Dr Crisp - who was not a Greens candidate at the time but is now the party's nominee for the seat of Nedlands at next year's State election - was later removed from the line-up. Dr Crisp said the result was a "one-sided, pro-industry position" presented at the forums, which he attended as an audience member.

    'Green groups are at liberty to organise public forums of their own.' " Mines Minister *Norman Moore *


    A privately owned Chinese company is finalising the acquisition of an Australian mining firm that controls a major iron ore mine in west Africa, China's official Xinhua News Agency reports.

    The move would give China a stronger role in setting global iron ore prices.

    Sundance controls the Mbalam iron ore mine, which straddles Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.


    Hanlong is seeking a partnership with Chinese state-owned companies and investing $US5 billion ($A4.84 billion) to develop the Mbalam project and to build a 550-kilometre railway and a shipping port, Xinhua said.

    Operations are expected to begin in 2014, Xinhua said.