mining

After Labour goes all in over Pike River the facts emerge

Labour has gone all in over Pike River trying to get a hit on John Key.

Yet again though they haven’t done their homework and after claiming it was safe to go get the charred remains (if any) the facts about the mine have emerged.

In a strongly worded statement released earlier today, Solid Energy hit out at “inaccurate and misleading statements in the media“, saying they were feeding “false hope”.

“It is disingenuous and, frankly, deeply disappointing for commentators who lack the full information base on which this decision was made – and who bear no legal responsibility for the outcomes of the re-entry project – to once again raise hopes regarding re-entry,” the statement said.

The company said its decision was based on an exhaustive investigation into the feasibility of safe re-entry and was backed by the independent expertise of Emeritus Professor Jim Galvin – a professor of mining engineering at the University of New South Wales and an internationally recognised expert in underground coal mining risk management.   Read more »

Driverless technology is here and being deployed

Remind me again why we are looking at rails to solve transport problems?

In Australia Rio Tinto has deployed 69 driverless trucks across several mine sites.

The first two mines in the world to start moving all of their iron ore using fully remote-controlled trucks have just gone online in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Mining giant Rio Tinto is running pits at its Yandicoogina and Nammuldi mine sites, with workers controlling the driverless trucks largely from an operations centre in Perth, 1,200 kilometres away.

Josh Bennett manages the mining operations at Yandicoogina mine north west of Newman and is closely involved with running 22 driverless trucks on the site.

Mr Bennett said the two pits are the largest of their kind in the world.

“To the naked eye it looks like conventional mining methods. I guess the key change for us is the work that employees and our team members are doing now,” he said.

“What we have done is map out our entire mine and put that into a system and the system then works out how to manoeuvre the trucks through the mine.”    Read more »

Mine it, drill it, sell it

tim howard

Tim Howard – Luddite and filthy hippy

Are we really going to let a few dozen filthy hippies stop the rest of us utilise natural resources that will benefit the community?  

Because they’ve been very effective at doing so. Why are we so afraid? They’re few.

The only apparent problem is that the Media Party gets behind them and is able to amplify their puny voices and scare the bejesus out of poll driven politicians…especially poll driven fruit-cake politicians scared of bad tweets.

A Northland anti-mining group is urging locals not to engage with an Australian company planning to prospect for gold north of Whangarei.

Evolution Mining has bought the exploration licenses formerly held by De Grey Limited for Puhipuhi, and planned to begin geophysical survey work within the fortnight.

Minewatch Northland spokesman Tim Howard said locals should oppose the miners because of the risk they presented in an area with high mercury levels and heavy rainfall.

“It’s the wettest area in Northland, it has the heaviest rainfall,” Mr Howard said.   Read more »

So you think your gay Prius and wind turbines are clean and green? Think again

The green taliban tell us we need to go clean tech…and green tech and wind and electric this and electric that.

But what does that all mean?

Apparently it means if we use wind turbines and drive gay Prius cars we are being clean and green and using cool tech to do it.

But the reality of their clean green tech solutions is far from their slogans and bumper stickers…so far that their claims are actually lies.

Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.

From where I’m standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge.

Dozens of pipes line the shore, churning out a torrent of thick, black, chemical waste from the refineries that surround the lake. The smell of sulphur and the roar of the pipes invades my senses. It feels like hell on Earth.

Welcome to Baotou, the largest industrial city in Inner Mongolia. I’m here with a group of architects and designers called the Unknown Fields Division, and this is the final stop on a three-week-long journey up the global supply chain, tracing back the route consumer goods take from China to our shops and homes, via container ships and factories.

You may not have heard of Baotou, but the mines and factories here help to keep our modern lives ticking. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of “rare earth” minerals. These elements can be found in everything from magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors, to the electronic guts of smartphones and flatscreen TVs. In 2009 China produced 95% of the world’s supply of these elements, and it’s estimated that the Bayan Obo mines just north of Baotou contain 70% of the world’s reserves. But, as we would discover, at what cost?

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Bitter Aussies moaning about our FTA with China

Australia is in the grip of a debilitating wind down of their economy after the mining boom popped. I’ve always said that Australia had a two track economy, one in the bush based around minerals and mining and the cities. The two are not as inter-related as many suspected.

The cities have been struggling for some time, while the bush boomed. Then it all came crashing down and the minerals sector caught up with the rest of Australia.

Things are not good for their economy.

Our economy is growing, but the Aussie commentators still attempt to bring us down to their level.

Uppity Kiwis feeling boastful about their dollar approaching parity with the mighty Aussie might do well to stick to rugby for their kicks. Their China-driven boom is coming to an end as quickly as Australia’s. And they have less to fall back on when it does.

Meanwhile, reports of Gina Rinehart going long on dairy farms could prove as reliable a warning as many another billionaire diversifying outside his or her area of expertise.

The New Zealand economy’s resurgence has owed much to China’s demand for milk products and getting in early for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Middle Kingdom.

Trouble is, China has been busily investing and encouraging others to invest in increased and globally diversified milking. Just as iron ore miners have ramped up production both from existing provinces and new projects from Africa to Mongolia, New Zealand’s farmers are facing increased competition from South America to Russia and all points in between, including Australia.

People have got to eat.

This time last year I was in Uruguay, a country that, in several ways, is the New Zealand of South America. It’s small, agricultural, relatively peaceful (the lowest murder rate of the continent), has a similar population of 3 million or so and a large diaspora, manages to perform disproportionately well in its chosen football code, is socially advanced on several levels (gay marriage, legalised marijuana) and has ridden cows to posterity, courtesy of Chinese demand.

Chinese investment in Uruguay is obvious and remarked on by the locals: Chinese cars on the roads, new buildings sporting Chinese brands. And Uruguay is just one small corner of the global market China has been developing as a source of commodities and consumers. It’s been doing that developing both as a matter of Beijing policy and individual entrepreneur’s search for opportunities.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo:  Carsten Peter Discovered in 2000 by two brothers who were drilling below the Naica Mine near Chihuahua, Mexico, the Cave of Crystals is a glittering spectacle with temperatures that can reach up to 112 degrees. Many of the crystals, which are estimated to be about 600,000 years old, can be several feet thick, and the smaller ones are razor sharp. Forget diamonds; if you really love a woman, take her to a cave filled with crystals bigger than her wildest dreams.

Photo: Carsten Peter
Discovered in 2000 by two brothers who were drilling below the Naica Mine near Chihuahua, Mexico, the Cave of Crystals is a glittering spectacle with temperatures that can reach up to 112 degrees. Many of the crystals, which are estimated to be about 600,000 years old, can be several feet thick, and the smaller ones are razor sharp. Forget diamonds; if you really love a woman, take her to a cave filled with crystals bigger than her wildest dreams.

Cueva de los Cristales (Mexico)

Read more »

Has there been a coup in Labour?

It would appear so, the Bay of Plenty Times is reporting that Labour has a new leader…and its the old leader David Shearer.

Shearer-leader

 

And of course the whole article is about the mixed messages labour and their “new leader” are sending which is they love mining when their policies are dead set against it…especially open cast mines like this.

A visit to Newmont Waihi Gold’s mining operation was just one of the items on Labour MP David Shearer’s agenda when he visited Waihi last Wednesday.

Mr Shearer was accompanied by Coromandel Labour candidate, Korbinian Poschl and the candidate for Tauranga, Dr Rachel Jones who is 25 on the party list so is likely to get into parliament at this election.

None of the three Labour representatives had visited the mine workings before so the quick Newmont-organised tour was a chance for them to get a glimpse of the gold mining operation.

The three were visibly impressed when faced with the large hole in the ground which is the Martha Pit.

Newmont spokesperson and tour guide Kit Wilson explained the workings of the pit, pointing out different layers, old workings and the way the ore (and waste rock) is mined and sent to the processing plant.

Just as the mini tour was departing the siren indicating a blast went off and the Labour visitors quickly got back out of the mini-van to witness and feel a mine blast.

Ohhh, excited by bang bangs…who isn’t?

 

– Bay of Plenty Times

Something else for the Greens to ban

deep-space-mining

The Greens love baning things…anything that means progress, including fossil fuels, mining, and…well..more than 100 things.

Now there is something else they will want to ban…space mining.

It’s become clear that there’s just not enough stuff on Earth to go around. We’re constantly fighting over land and water, jockeying for access to our home planet’s diamonds or oil or sugarcane or schools of fish. In the last few years a chorus of voices has arisen to suggest that we could solve these petty human squabbles by looking to space. “Everything we hold of value on this planet, metals, minerals, real estate, energy sources, fuel—the things we fight wars over—are literally in near infinite quantities in the solar system,” says Peter Diamandis, one of the founders of the asteroid-mining company Planetary Resources. He claims we have a “moral obligation to become an interplanetary species,” and that if we harness the resources in space, “the entire human race will be the beneficiary.” Naveen Jain, founder of Moon Express, wants to do on the moon what Diamandis wants to do with asteroids. A recent CNBC profile quotes him as saying, “Once you take a mind-set of scarcity and replace it with a mind-set of abundance, amazing things can happen here on Earth.”   Read more »

Peak Oil…not even close

Oh dear as the Green Taliban keep hysterically screaming about peak oil the reality as expected is somewhat different.

Worldwide oil reserves are now estimated at 1.64 trillion Barrels and gas reserves are 7 Quadrillion cf.

How big a number is a quadrillion. Well it is 1,000 trillion.

But ten years ago known oil reserves were 1.265 trillion barrels and 6 quadrillion cf.

While we are very pleased that big oil are in NZ looking for new discoveries, given the increasing quantities of known commercial supplies I wonder about the merit in some searches.  Don’t get me wrong we love mining and drilling, but it is not as if world supplies are running out any time soon.  Read more »

Cunliffe talking out of both sides of his mouth…again

shoot-self-in-foot copy

Drilling? Were were for it before were were against it and now we are for it again but not really…BOOM

David Cunliffe is smooth…he thinks he can hold two different positions in the same interview and thinks also that no one will notice.

His interview with Mike Hosking this morning is a work of art though.

Cunliffe managed to be both pro and anti oil exploration in the same interview…

“ Our position is that there may be a place for some exploration…so it would be wrong to say we are pro-drilling. “ – David Cunliffe.

Here is the context:  Read more »