Saturday, February 25, 2006

Slightly Worried

Hey All,

I'm so sorry for not updating sooner, I have NO excuse (except pure slackness and also the fact that Kasun was in Darwin during my last time here!!).

There has recently been a lot of talk of McArthur River Mine being shut down so I have been a bit concerned about my job. I think something will work out, but it doesn't stop me from worrying (nothing usually does!!).

Please read the following articles - both taken from the Northern Territory News.


We'll shut mine down

By NIGEL ADLAM 24feb06

AN INTERNATIONAL company last night vowed to close one of the Territory's biggest mines unless the NT Government changed its mind and allowed a $66million redevelopment plan to go ahead.

Swiss-based Xstrata said McArthur River mine would be uneconomical if it wasn't converted from an underground to an opencast operation.

Manager Brian Hearne said 270 jobs would be lost. He said the mine needed to mill 5000 tonnes of ore a day but was digging up only 800 tonnes.

"Open-cut is the only way to secure the mine's future,'' Mr Hearn said.

"I can't mine trees.''

Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour said the proposal to divert 5.5km of the McArthur River and build a huge bund wall was too risky.

"There is a compelling case for caution,'' she said.

"I'm not convinced this plan wouldn't cause significant long-term damage.''

Her recommendations were hailed as "far-sighted'' by conservationists.

Environment Centre campaigner Gary Scott said: "Moving rivers and mining their beds in the middle of a floodplain is not an acceptable practice in this day and age.''

But the Minerals Council described the Minister's stand as "appalling''.

Executive director Kezia Purich said the project's environmental impact statement had been drawn up by the same scientific team that worked on the Alcan expansion and Darwin Harbour LNG plant.

She said it was independently vetted by scientists. "What makes their findings better than that of independent scientists?''

Ms Purich said conservationist Lyn Allen, a founder of the Environment Centre and now head of the Office of Heritage and Environment, was involved in the finding.

"She has always been opposed to the McArthur River mine plan,'' Ms Purich said.

Ms Allen last night answered her mobile telephone and then broke off after saying it was faulty.
Mines Minister Kon Vatskalis will have the final say on the mine proposal.


The next article sounds a little more promising.........


NT Govt set for backflip on mine


THE Territory Government may allow the McArthur River mine redevelopment to go ahead after all.

It is understood the Government is already doubting the validity of the Environmental Protection Agency report, which recommended the plan be rejected.

The Northern Territory News discovered yesterday the leading scientist behind the rejection did not visit the Territory before making his recommendations.

It is believed the Government will have the decision independently reviewed.

A well-informed source said: "The Government is going to take a long, hard look and ensure any decision is on science, not emotion."

Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour announced on Thursday the $66 million to convert the mine from an underground to an open-cut operation had not passed the "science test".
Her recommendation to reject it will now be reviewed by Mines Minister Kon Vatskalis. A final decision is expected within five weeks.

The Mines Department is known to be disturbed by the EPA report.

"They are obviously pro-mining but they think there are serious doubts about the way recommendations were reached," said the source.

Geomorphologist Wayne Erskine admitted he did not carry out a site inspection at Borroloola before recommending it be turned down.

"But I have visited McArthur River before," he said.

Dr Erskine, of the University of Newcastle, made his decision by checking whether the mine's environmental impact study met key criteria in a document detailing best practise for river diversions.

"It did not," he said.

Dr Erskine was particularly worried there was no plan to recreate an aquatic habitat.


So, there you go.

I'm sorry that this entry is nothing more than blatant plagerisation from the NT News, but I wanted you all to know about it and this was the only way I could present it impartially (though I really don't like Marion Scrymgour at the moment).

My life other than that is going well.

I will update again on Monday or Tuesday and tell all about Kasun's visit to the bush!!!! (No Mel, not THAT kind of bush!!!)

Take care and enjoy the rest of the weekend!!!

Jack Handy Thought For The Day: He was the kind of man who was not ashamed to show affection. I guess that's what I hated about him.


At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Blogger Vidya said...

I hope this means that your move to Sydney will be happening really soon?

I hate it when people tell me this, but I am going to say it to you anyway, "Everything happens for a (GOOD) reason".

At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand you being worried about your job. I'm sure it will all work :)

How are things going with you Anika? I was hoping you would update!


At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope so you guys!!!!

Things are okay with me. I am looking for other jobs just incase things go pear-shaped.

I hope to come to Sydney soon!!! I miss the place!!!!

Take care.

At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Blogger Anika From Darwin said...

That was me with the previous comment BTW.

I just wanted to add that I liked Brian Hearne's comment that "he can't mine trees".

I think that was pretty funny!!!


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