Sunday, 18 June 2017

Global demand for coal falls in 2016 for second year in a row

UK leads trend away from coal, with use down 52.5%, while China continues to consume less of the dirtiest fossil fuel...

Global demand for coal has fallen for the second consecutive year, according to a BP study, helped by the US and China burning less of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

Read the full article at the Guardian.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Two exploratory drill holes to be completed within the 'Inglenook' coal exploration area this year

The following message was sent to us via CCC chair, Margaret MacDonald-Hill from James Marshall at Centennial Coal regarding exploratory drilling proposed this year for the 'Inglenook' project:

The Inglenook Exploration program has received funds allowing for the drilling of two (2) exploration drill holes.  The two drill sites are located within EL7431 and EL7432

The purpose of the drilling program is to assess:
· geotechnical information;
· resource definition; and
· coal quality.

Due diligence inspections for both sites are to be completed by mid June 2017 and the current schedule is for the drilling to commence September 2017 and be completed by end of October 2017.

An ESF-4 Application will be completed for Common Exploration Activity.  This constitutes a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for each of the proposed drill sites.

Once the drilling is completed both drill holes will be sealed and the sites will be fully rehabilitated. 

As more information becomes available, we will post details on the blog.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Rally to save Wollar at Mudgee Town Hall, 10 am Tuesday 11 April

The close-knit community of Wollar has already endured a decade of suffering from nearby Wilpinjong coal mine. Now the mine owners want to expand the project to within 1.5 km of the village, spelling the end for Wollar.

Even the NSW Government admits that approving the Wilpinjong mine expansion would kill off Wollar forever. Sadly, it seems they don't care, with the NSW Planning Department recommending the mine be approved.

Please come to the rally on Tuesday 11 April and stand with the people of Wollar as they fight to save their community from coal mining.

Rally: 10am, Tuesday 11th April, outside Mudgee Town Hall (64 Market St)

Public meeting (PAC hearing): 10:30 am, inside the hall. The public meeting will be put on by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission. To register to speak, call (02) 9383 2115 before 1 pm Thursday 6th April. 

The PAC is the government authority that will soon make the final decision on whether the mine expansion goes ahead, and this is our last chance to influence them. This is Wollar's last stand!

Read more at Lock the Gate.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Myanmar bans new coal mines; Australia backs bigger subsidies

The following information comes from The Australia Institute.

Here is an update on the latest events in the push for a coal mine moratorium.
First, some good news: Myanmar is the latest to announce it will approve no new coal mines.

This is a big turnaround from previous government plans to expand coal production. The government is citing negative impacts on health as the reason for the ban. Existing mines will be allowed to operate only if they pass reviews into their health impacts.

Myanmar joins Indonesia and China in adopting a moratorium. Importantly, China’s coal use has now fallen for three years in a row, due to restrictions on burning coal, and even stronger restrictions on supply. This has both reduced emissions and pushed prices higher.
Commenting on the price spikes, Ivan Glasenberg, Chief Executive of Glencore -- a major coal mining company -- said:
I don't think any of us in this room saw it coming… Suddenly the Chinese decided they didn't like these low coal prices … we saw the effect that supply cutbacks can have on coal prices and what that did to the coal prices in China. 
While benefiting from China's supply restrictions, Glasenberg complained:
They're not like us with antitrust, we can't agree with other producers. But they can.
But that's wrong: ‘we’ could agree to stop building new coal mines: a global moratorium would mean higher prices, benefiting both existing mines and the climate.

The bad news: some wealthy countries are now going into reverse. The Trump administration pledges to repeal the US coal mine moratorium, among other environmental policies, and Australia’s government is proposing to spend new public money on new coal mines and new coal power plants, on top of existing subsidies:
While Prime Minister Turnbull cites Australia’s “vested interest” as the world’s biggest coal exporter, the Treasurer displayed government support by taking a lump of coal into Parliament to wave it around while laughingThe political signal is clear: Australia is contemptuous of world efforts to reduce emissions.

Understandably, Australia’s pacific neighbours are concerned. They are especially vulnerable to climate impacts and they have been the strongest advocates of a coal mine moratorium. The PM of Fiji has strongly criticised Australia’s “selfish” attitude over its coal mines.

With Fiji acting as President of the next UN climate talks, Australia and other coal-supporters may find their subsidies under international pressure. 

Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist
The Australia Institute

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Narrabri Gas Project: Please make a submission before 24 April!

This proposed project is huge and it will be disastrous if it goes ahead. Ninety-six per cent of the residents of the Pillaga area do not want the project to go ahead and the Department of Planning and Environment is now taking submissions on Santos' EIS for the project. Submissions close on 24 April and it's vital that as many people as possible put in a submission.

In the words of the Department of Planning and Environment:

The Narrabri Gas Project involves the progressive development of a coal seam gas field comprising up to 850 gas wells on up to 425 well pads over 20 years, and the construction and operation of gas processing and water treatment facilities, including: 
- a central gas processing facility for the compression, dehydration and treatment of gas; 
- a water management facility for the storage and treatment of produced water; 
- an in-field gas compression and water management facility; and 
- water and gas gathering pipelines and ancillary infrastructure. 

You can find more information on the project, as well as a submission guide, on the Wilderness Society website

You will find the submission form on the Department of Planning and Environment website.  

Saturday, 26 November 2016

AGM 28 November, 6.30 pm

Just a reminder to members that our AGM is to be held at 6.30 pm on Monday 28 November at Running Stream hall.

Please come along and support your association!

Afterwards there will be a light supper, which will give us an opportunity to talk and catch up.

Please note that membership renewals are due.

We look forward to seeing you there.

AGM Agenda

ITEM 1: Confirmation of Minutes of the 2015 AGM

ITEM 2: President’s Report
ITEM 3: Treasurer’s Report and Acceptance of Annual Statement
ITEM 4: Election of Office Bearers
ITEM 5: Membership Fees

Inglenook CCC report notes 20 September 2016

20 Sept 2016 Inglenook CCC -  Report to Meeting by Centennial

Reporting period: March 2016 – September 2016

Project Update: Exploration Drilling
• Budget submission for 7 exploration boreholes to be drilled in 2017 has been submitted to Senior Management for approval.
• Focus of the drilling program is to define the western extent of the coal resource across Exploration Licences EL7431 and EL7432.
• The drilling program has not yet been approved and the CCC will be advised if the drilling program is to recommence in 2017.

EL A414 Renewal
• A414 expired in June 2016. Centennial submitted a renewal application in June 2016 for a further term of six years.
• The Department’s Exploration Titles Committee (ETC) oversees the renewal process. This committee is chaired by the Manager, Royalties and Adviser Services and comprises representatives from the Geological Survey, the Environmental Sustainability Unit and the Titles Unit.
• Until an expired exploration title is renewed the conditions of the expired exploration licence remain in effect. Renewal is expected by December 2016

Environmental Management
• Baseline surface water quality sampling scheduled for 28 September 2016
• Baseline groundwater quality and level sampling scheduled for 28 September 2016.
• Baseline vibrating wire piezometer data has been collected remotely on a daily basis and will continue.
• Baseline weather data collection has also continued throughout the reporting period and will continue.

• A414 Annual Exploration and Community Consultation report submitted to NSW Department of Industry in June. Non-Compliance
• There has been no incidents of non-compliance during the reporting period.

Community Engagement
• Project newsletter to be distributed in October 2016.
• Access Agreement negotiations for future exploration will resume once the 2017 work program has been approved by Centennial management.

Activities for the coming reporting period

• Planning for future exploration drilling.
• Statutory Exploration Licence reporting for EL7431, EL7432 and EL7442 in December 2016.
• Surface water and groundwater monitoring to be undertaken in September.
• Monitoring will only be undertaken at existing monitoring sites
Company Update
• Improved efficiency and cost management across each of the five operational mine sites has enabled Centennial Coal to remain competitive through the current industry downturn.
• NSW Department of Planning and Environment released Draft CCC Guidelines for comment. Centennial participated with the NSW Minerals Council Working Group to develop a submission in relation to the Guidelines. Awaiting the release of the Guidelines.

• NSW Department of Planning and Environment has commenced consultation in relation to the Social Impact Assessment process. The outcome of the consultation will be used to inform the draft SIA Guidelines which are expected to be released November 2016 for comment.

(Notes compiled by Jolieske Lips, Community and RSWUA Representative.)