Minerals Council Defends Galilee Basin Coal Profitability
A new report warning against developing the Galilee Basin has been refuted by the Minerals Council of Australia, saying it is “activist-linked academics to try and undermine Australia’s $60 billion coal industry”.
“The activist movement has turned the creation of spurious, pseudo-intellectual reports on the coal industry into high art,” MCA chief executive Brendan Pearson said.
According to Pearson, the report contradicts the official forecasts for coal demand in India, which is stated as surpassing the United States as the second-largest coal consumer over the next two decades. India is currently the world’s third-largest coal consumer.
The report, which was published this week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, claims falling coal prices and high development costs would make the Galilee projects too expensive to supply India’s electricity demand.
Tim Buckley, who wrote the report, alleges mines in the area would struggle to remain profitable as Australia’s coal industry enters a ‘structural decline.’ Buckley argues India’s unsafe economic and financial situation coupled with financial issues at the country’s coal-fired power station would cause “uncertainty for companies relying on its ability and willingness to import coal, with its association implications for inflation, current account deficits, economic instability and energy security.”
"The financial justification for Galilee Basin Coal is based on flawed economic assumptions, including a reliance on the increasingly uncertain prospect of India being able to continue to finance and economically justify building imported coal-fired power stations," Buckley said.
The report also claims China’s huge investment in renewable energy will be replicated by India on a much smaller scale, and influenced by the pro-solar policies of prime ministerial front-runner Narendra Modi. The cost of electricity generation from solar in India has fallen 65 percent in the last three years.
Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman has previously said mining the Galilee Basin would be worth $60 billion and create 15,000 jobs. He’s also stated Indian companies see the mining site as a strategic “long-term play.”
"They want coal to come for their thermal power stations day in, day out, week in, week out, month after month, for not 10 years or 20 years or 50 years; they want it to come for 70 to 100 years," Newman said.
BHP, Rio Tinto & Vale launch Charge On Innovation Challenge
Mining giants BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the 'Charge On' Innovation Challenge to solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today - decarbonising mining operations.
'Charge On' Innovation Challenge
In partnership with Austmine, Australia's leading mining equipment, technology and services industry association, founding patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the competition to encourage technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The main goal is cutting emissions from surface mining operations.
“The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets,” the trio said in a media statement.
“In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery-electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.”
A number of non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can assist in mine electrification. By submitting a Challenge to the market, the Patrons of Charge On expect to:
- Demonstrate there is an emerging market for charging solutions in mining
- Accelerate commercialization of solutions
- Indicate to suppliers, the mining industry seeks interoperable solutions
- Maintain multiple actors and competition in the supply chain
- Integrate innovations from other sectors into the mining sector
"We expect some solutions identified in the Challenge could provide propulsion to existing diesel-electric trucks. This may present a pathway to early implementation for dynamic charging solutions," the trio said.
Found patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto are pledging their commitment to fighting climate change:
"The mining industry has an important role to reduce emissions and do our part to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to limit the impacts of climate change."
The Charge On Innovation Challenge asks vendors to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart commented: “We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks."
More information about the challenge will be released on May 18.
The competition echoes growing efforts being made across the industry to tackle emmissions and promote electrification. In march this year, the Electric Mine Consortium was launched. It's founding members include Gold Fields, Dassualt Systemes and Sandvik who pledged their commitment to decarbonising mining operations.