mining

dead waters

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I want to thank FrontRangeScribbles and Meeka’s Mind for the opportunity to nominate irresponsible, greedy mining companies and irresponsible, greedy politicians for the Golden Toilet Award.

The G.O. and I spent a lovely Easter at our house in the rural village of Taylors Arm, on the Mid North Coast of NSW Australia, 500 kms from Sydney. The last 30 kilometre stretch from Macksville, the nearest town, is dotted with yellow signs on gates reminding us of the spectre of corporate mining, political interests and environmental devastation hanging over us.

A dozen kilometres up river is Burrapine. Best described by Lock the Mid North Coast “Burrapine is like the land that time forgot. Rolling green hills, forested bluffs, emerald river flats. The beautiful Taylors Arm river winds its way down from the headwaters up past Thumb Creek and down through the valley, feeding into the Nambucca River at Macksville. Along the way there are beef and dairy cattle farms, small acre vegetable farms and people relying on this river for household use, drinking and irrigation.”

In April last year Precious Metal Resources Pty Ltd applied for a mining exploration licence, approved on 23rd November by the NSW Dept of Energy and Resources (Minister Chris Hartcher) for gold and antimony mining in the Nambucca Valley. The license covers an area of 330sq km in the areas around Taylors Arm, South Arm, Thumb Creek, Giralong, Burrapine and Buckrabendinni. It borders on the New England National Park and several state conservation areas.

From Wiki “antimony and many of its compounds are toxic, and the effects of antimony poisoning are similar to arsenic poisoning. The toxicity of antimony is by far lower than that of arsenic…”. However, the EVISA article Antimony mine disaster states “We saw that antimony behaves very differently from arsenic – antimony oxidizes much more quickly than arsenic when exposed.”

Lock the Gate Alliance has launched Our Call to Country. “It’s a call from the heart of this country, and the people who love it, to demand real action to restrict inappropriate coal and gas mining.”

With newspaper headlines like
Greens call for immediate freeze on CSG mining
Suspend corrupt mining ops, NSW govt told
Toxic Mine Water
and information that John Dawkins, who was Treasurer and a Minister in the Keating Labor government, is on the Board of Precious Metal Resources Pty Ltd, I think we’ll need Kenny’s assistance with a fleet of Golden Toilets, otherwise the only thing our river water will be good for is flushing them.

More info:
http://lockthemidnorthcoast.com.au/
http://www.lockthenambuccavalley.com.au/tags/welcome

Wiki also notes “The largest applications for metallic antimony are as alloying material for lead and tin and for lead antimony plates in lead-acid batteries.” It’s worth bearing this in mind along with RoughSeas’ An Easter message which touches on consumerism, so that objections aren’t just NIMBYism. Does it really matter to me?

“Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.” ―    Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

You too can flush… FrontRangeScribbles generously invites “If you have any one you would like to nominate please feel free to do so.  The world is full of other people who are deserving to be recipients of this prestigious award second only to the Oscar.” And, in the words of Meeka’s Mind  “Please check out the blog of the highly inventive FrontRangeScribbles. And then do your bit for the planet. But if you use the Golden Toilet to have a dig at your ex. or your mother-in-law, or your neighbour, then you’re just being petty. Think global! Think making the world a better place! Think Service To Humanity.”

frack off

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Many Australians are concerned about coal seam gas mining, not in a NIMBY way but because real regulations & safeguards do not exist.

Lock the gate. Sticking it to the mining companies, Which Bank ATM, King Street, Newtown, NSW Australia

The companies are not helping themselves. They have zero credibility. Residents in and around my local St Peters area are terrified and up in arms about plans to drill for coal seam gas in that suburb. Apparently plans for drilling in St Peters have been “dropped” but no-one really knows what that means.

Obviously,  alternative clean energy sources are an issue which needs to be addressed but coal seam gas mining isn’t about environment & sustainability, it’s about money, and it’s not clean.

According to the Wilderness Society’s web page coal seam gas is emerging as a massive public issue.Pilliga: After an investigation by the Wilderness Society and local environment groups, coal seam gas company Santos has had to temporarily shut down the majority of their drilling operations in the beautiful Pilliga Forest after we exposed the significant pollution risks of coal seam gas mining.

Santos have now publicly admitted to 20 hazardous events in the Pilliga forest, including a toxic spill of over 10,000 litres of untreated coal seam gas water.

The ongoing spills, leaks and cover-ups taking place in the Pilliga Forest provide on-the-ground evidence of the serious risks involved in the coal seam gas industry. It is obvious that self-regulation by coal seam gas companies is failing.

Kimberley:  Buru Energy has recently commenced ‘tight gas’ fracking operations just 80km from Broome (Yulleroo field) without any environmental impact assessment – thanks to the WA EPA refusing to assess it. The EPA and WA Government Ministers claim that environmental assessment isn’t necessary because the industry is regulated by the WA Mines Department but this ‘regulation’ was recently exposed as a myth by the WA Auditor General.