Wednesday, February 2, 2011

big money = big holes

This information was sent to me by a reader of mars2earth. How anyone could believe that mining Papatūānuku will be good for anyone other than overseas giant corportations is beyond me. The evidence is all around and it is very disturbing indeed.
Giant Chinese energy company Qinghua Group - with more than $12 billion of mining assets - is assessing several billion-dollar projects across the South Island. The west coasts of both the North and South Islands, with onshore and offshore iron-ore deposits, are being assessed for possible sites for a port purchase and steel mill construction. The South Island West Coast's specialist hard coking coal is a key ingredient for steel manufacturing. Edward LancasterOtago and Southland lignite deposits could be used for petrochemical or briquetting plants. Qinghua's joint venture partners Greywolf Gold-mining, incorporated in March this year, are spearheading project analysis, saying Qinghua has $10 billion to spend in New Zealand in 2011.
"We had hoped to make announcements in the new year, but the [three New Zealand] visits by Qinghua have been attracting attention," said Mr Lancaster, whose company directors include brother Michael and son Jolian.
Mr Lancaster said meetings were being sought through the offices of Prime Minister John Key and Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, but the Pike River disaster had prompted deferral of meetings "for several weeks", he said.
10 billion to spend - if you just care about money that will be hard to resist but luckily more people care about the environment, global warming and the effect upon all peoples especially our pasifika cousins. Ngāi Tahu must oppose these developments for our children and their children.
Mr Lancaster described Qinghua Group as the largest private Chinese mining company and "the Chinese version of BHP Billiton in Australia", the world's largest diversified resource group. Mr Lancaster said Qinghua was also looking at prospects in Russia, South America and Africa. In New Zealand, Central Otago coal seam gas deposits are also in the mix, possibly for power generation to places such as Queenstown or Alexandra. The group is also thought to be seeking permit holdings in ironsand on the Kapiti coast and Manawatu River. There are also plans to acquire a coking coal field near Collingwood.
The focus of the current negotiations is to buy rights to an estimated 2 billion tonnes of southern lignite, half of which could be converted to petro-chemicals or lignite briquettes. Greywolf has also separately acquired coal permits near Buller, covering about 5000ha. "We [Greywolf] are paving the way for Qinghua. They are the one with the [financial] power behind them," Mr Lancaster said. Qinghua Group bosses have visited Central Otago, the West Coast and Marlborough in recent weeks looking at coal seam gas for electricity generation, hard-coking coal deposits with a view to building a steel mill, and lignite for petrochemical conversion. Chartered flights across the South Island have included meeting several southern mayors and visits to mine sites, Mr Lancaster said.
The process is already underway and yes they would have to get Overseas Investment Office approval and would be compliant with the Resource Management Act, and all regulations applicable to mining in New Zealand but we have heard brownlee say that "we are open for business" and we know how money-hungry these politicians are. Pesky regulations won't get in their way only the people can stop them.

In many countries the indigenous people are at the forefront of opposing mining - I know many individual maori who are also opposed to this but I'd love some iwi to come out strong in defence of Papatūānuku.


Anonymous said...

Gerry Brownlee has made it clear New Zealand is open for business.

Bathurst intends to produce about a million tonnes of coal a year and to eventually ramp that up to two million tonnes a year, more than the annual production of New Zealand's biggest coal mine, Stockton, owned by state coal miner Solid Energy, in the same general area.

Applications for resource consents have been lodged for a multimillion-dollar open-cast coal-mining project on the historic coalfields of the Denniston Plateau.
West Australian firm Bathurst Resources is the project owner

The Overseas Investment Office approved 27 investments in December with a net investment value, or total dollar value invested in New Zealand, of $445.89 million.

Approved was Australian company Bathurst Resources's proposed acquisition of up to 100 percent of the shares of L&M Coal, with a net investment of $55.14m.

Don't forget:

Mr Lancaster said meetings were being sought through the offices of Prime Minister John Key and Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee

So Iwi Leadership forum heads in Ngai Tahu and Tainui may want assets, but may end out being part of the cover for Privatisation of SOEs. Once privatisation starts...

Anonymous said...

Aotearoa can do better than sellout Papatuanuku - Ngai Tahu et al are meant to be guardians:

Chinese follow Australians in scouring NZ for mining projects

A large Chinese resources player is scoping New Zealand for coal, lignite and ironsands mining projects at the same time as Australian companies take increasing interest in New Zealand in these areas.

Chinese privately owned Qinghua Group has partnered with small Australian mining company Greywolf Goldmining to assess potential projects such as converting lignite to briquettes, mining hard coking coal on the West Coast of the South Island and mining ironsands on the west coast of the North Island.

They are hoping to meet Finance Minister Bill English and Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee before Christmas to discuss their interest in New Zealand mining ventures.

Other Australian firms have taken interest in these resources. Australia’s L&M Group is the largest owner of lignite resources in New Zealand, holding five exploration permits from Crown Minerals over areas of lignite in Southland and Otago.

Two months ago it sold a hard coking coal project to Australia’s Bathurst Resources which ultimately wants to mine four million tonnes a year of coal from the Denniston Plateau north of Westport if it gains resource consents. Greywolf and Qinghua may be seeking a relationship with L&M Group.

State coal miner Solid Energy also owns land in Southland and Otago containing large lignite resources and has a pilot plant in Mataura converting lignite coal to briquettes using United States technology.