New South Wales Government buys back BHP mine licence for Liverpool plains
$220m, that’s the money the New South Wales government has paid for the mining licence that BHP has for the fertile farming regions of the Liverpool plains. The government has also said it is in negotiation with the Shenhua coalmine to purchase its mine licence as well.
The mining giant BHP had planned to develop and underground coalmine at Caroona, next to the Shenhua Watermark open cut coalmine. In its listed 30-year mining life, the coalmine would have looked to produce 260m tonnes of coal.
After careful consideration, the NSW government has determined that coalmining under these highly fertile black soil plains, as proposed by Labor, poses too great a risk for the future of this food bowl and the underground water sources that support it,” the NSW premier, Mike Baird, said in a statement on Thursday night.
“This decision guarantees the future of the state’s most productive and fertile farming land, providing confidence for local farmers to invest in an industry that has the potential to be one of the food bowls of the world.”
The deputy premier, Troy Grant, said: “The Liverpool plains black soil is one of our most precious resources and today we have taken this major step to secure its long-term future.”
The NSW Greens resources and energy spokesman, Jeremy Buckingham, says the NSW Greens resources sights are now set on the Shenhua mine.
“The next step must be the cancellation of the neighbouring Shenhua Watermark mine which continues to threaten the Liverpool plains, as well as Kepco’s Bylong project and Hume Coal’s Berrima proposal,” Buckingham said.
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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.