Archive | Coal

B.C. mining touted as green solution even as environmental groups warn of lax industry regulations – by Ainslie Cruickshank (Toronto Star – July 17, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

VANCOUVER—A B.C. environmental organization says lax mining regulation is putting B.C. waterways at risk, even as resource ministers on Wednesday touted Canada as a top source for the metals and minerals the world needs to transition to a green economy.

“Our big concern is how much of B.C.’s competitive advantage, as they call it, is actually just weak environmental regulations,” said Lars Sander-Green, a science and communications analyst with Wildsight.

Sander-Green’s comments came as the annual conference of ministers responsible for energy and mines wrapped up. This year’s conference was held in Cranbrook, B.C. Continue Reading →

Private investors protect vast forests in U.S. coal country – by Carey L. Biron (Reuters U.S. – July 15, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Private investors have backed what supporters say is one of the largest conservation acquisitions ever in the eastern United States, offering a promising new model to protect land.

Conservation group the Nature Conservancy announced Monday that it and partners now control almost 400 square miles (1,000 sq km) of land in three states in the central Appalachian Mountains, traditionally heavily dependent on coal mining.

The tracts, part of what backers say is one of the world’s largest intact forests, were purchased from timber management entities through a $130 million investment fund. Continue Reading →

[U.S. Coal Mining] Head of miners union calls Green New Deal’s main goal ‘almost impossible’ (The Hill – July 15, 2019)

https://thehill.com/

The president of the United Mine Workers of America characterized the progressive Green New Deal’s goal of transitioning to renewable energy over 10 years as “almost impossible.”

The Green New Deal, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) earlier this year, aims to cut greenhouse emissions in half by shifting to 100 percent renewable energy over the next decade. The proposal also calls for creating millions of “good, high-wage” jobs to achieve that goal.

“It’s almost impossible to transition in 10 years away from fossil fuels even if everybody was for it,” Cecil Roberts told Hill.TV on Monday. “It just can’t really be done but if you did do that, you’re going to have a massive, terrible economic problem on your hands.” Continue Reading →

BHP Is Latest Giant Miner to Plan Exit From Thermal Coal – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 11, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group is moving ahead with plans to exit thermal coal, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest move by the world’s biggest miners to retreat from the dirtiest fuel.

BHP is looking at options to divest the business that includes assets in Australia and Colombia, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the development has not been made public. There’s no guarantee the company will go ahead with a sale, the people said.

The decision demonstrates how growing climate-change pressure from investors and regulators is reshaping the future of extractive industries. Continue Reading →

Indian billionaire defends controversial coal mine in Australia (Business Times – July 10, 2019)

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/

THE Indian billionaire behind the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia is hitting back at criticism the endeavour will be both unprofitable and too dirty.

In an interview in New Delhi, Gautam Adani took aim at two major faults opponents have flung at the development: that the mine’s low-quality coal won’t earn enough money to justify his US$2 billion investment, and that the world must abandon the fuel in favour of renewable energy to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“If the project wasn’t viable, we wouldn’t have pursued it,” said Mr Adani, whose net worth of US$9.6 billion makes him India’s sixth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “Renewable energy is good for the nation, but it can’t meet our baseload power needs.” Continue Reading →

Coal union invites Democratic 2020 hopefuls, at least half say ‘Yes’ – by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – July 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the main U.S. mine workers’ union has invited all of the Democratic presidential candidates to visit its “turf” to demonstrate that the party still represents the working class.

The invitation could heap pressure on the nearly two dozen Democrats vying for the White House to explain how their plans to combat climate change – most of which call for an end to fossil fuels use – will impact mining jobs.

“If Democrats are to win back the vote of so many who have deserted the party in the last several elections, it is exactly these kinds of voters who you need to persuade,” United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts said on Monday in a letter to the candidates that asked them to speak to miners on their “turf.” Continue Reading →

Billionaire coal baron Christopher Cline dies in helicopter crash – by Lynn Doan (Bloomberg/Niagara Falls Review – July 5, 2019)

https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/

Christopher Cline, the billionaire coal tycoon best known for reviving the mining industry in Illinois and making a fortune doing it, died in a helicopter crash Thursday.

Cline died in an accident off the coast of the Bahamas that also killed six other people, Brian Glasser, an attorney who represented Cline, said by telephone. He was the founder of St. Louis, Missouri-based coal miner Foresight Energy, a joint venture with Robert Murray’s Murray Energy Corp.

Cline, who died a day shy of his 61st birthday, was born into coal. His grandfather dug up the rock with a pickaxe, and he himself started working the mines at 22. Ten years later, he founded the Cline Group to extract coal from beneath the hollows and rolling hills of Appalachia. He created Foresight to expand into Illinois in 2006. At its peak, the company was valued at more than $2.6 billion. Continue Reading →

Roof collapse at coal mine – by Michael Tutton (Canadian Press/Global News – July 8, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

Nova Scotia’s Labour Department said Monday that inspectors have been sent to the mine to look at the extent of the rock fall that occurred over the weekend, when no workers were in the area.

Scott Nauss, the province’s senior director of inspection compliance, says there were no injuries in the incident, which comes after a series of roof collapses last year in working areas of the Donkin mine.

Kameron Coal’s operations in Cape Breton were suspended for just under a month in late December before the company was allowed to partially resume activities in one portion of the mine while it prepared a revised roof support plan. Continue Reading →

India’s top court sides with indigenous people over illegal mining fallout – by Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation – July 4, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

BANGKOK, July 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indigenous people in an Indian state must be protected from illegal mining and the pollution it causes, the country’s top court ruled, providing a “historic” victory to tribal groups fighting for better rights over land and natural resources.

Indigenous people, who own much of the land in northeastern Meghalaya state, have full rights over the land and any resources on it, and only they can grant permission for mining after the correct permits are obtained, the Supreme Court ruled.

The state government had “entirely failed to stop illegal mining, which is the cause of degradation and pollution”, and must end illegal mining and rehabilitate the environment, it said on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. gain as India cuts dependence on Australian coking coal – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Shipments of coking coal from the United States and Canada rose to a sixth of all Indian imports of the fuel during the year ended March 2019, as steelmakers in the coal guzzling country look to cut their dependence on Australia.

Australia’s share in India’s coking coal market fell to 71%, or 36.91 million tons, during the year ended March 2019 from about 88% three years ago, India coal ministry data reviewed by Reuters showed. The United States and Canada had a 5.6% share of the market three years ago.

Regular interruptions in India’s main supplier over the last few years, including a flood in a major coal producing region in February and a cyclone which tore into Queensland in 2017, have caused worries about major supply disruptions in India. Continue Reading →

A rapid transition from fossil fuels? No way — here’s why – by Peter Shawn Taylor (National Post – June 29, 2019)

https://nationalpost.com/

Throughout history, new energy sources have largely been added to traditional supplies rather than replacing them entirely

Here’s a story popular with anyone claiming we have just 11 years to phase out fossil fuels or face the end of our world. (Or 31 years if 2050, rather than 2030, is your preferred doomsday.)

England once found itself in an energy crisis back in the mid-1500s. Rising demand for wood for home heating and industrial use was stripping forests bare. Plus, the Royal Navy was having a hard time sourcing mighty oak trees for its ships.

So, Queen Elizabeth I passed a decree. “The monarchy declared that coal shall be burned, and the kingdom made it so,” reports a recent University of Alberta publication on the history of energy transitions. “There were fears and protests and new challenges … but people adapted, even flourished.” Continue Reading →

Indonesia regulatory changes to bring more uncertainty to coal sector – by Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters U.S. – June 26, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesian coal miners said upcoming regulatory changes are putting added pressure on their businesses amid depressed prices and rising competition from other energy sources.

The Indonesian government is in the process of amending coal mining rules to enforce implementation of a 2009 mineral law that require miners to convert their mining permits to a licensing system upon the expiration of their current contracts.

The issue was one of the most talked about by local miners at the Coaltrans industry conference in Bali this week. Continue Reading →

Tiny Town Of Nucla Looks To A Future Without Mining And Sees Opportunity And Uncertainty – by Stina Sieg (Colorado Public Radio – June 24, 2019)

https://www.cpr.org/

Home to just a few hundred people, the town of Nucla, Colorado, isn’t just tiny. It’s far from just about everything. Tucked into the western edge of Montrose County, it’s 350 miles from Denver and 60 miles from the nearest stop light.

For generations, this area — known as the West End — was a hub for mining. Most famously, they dug for uranium here and the area saw a big boom thanks to the Cold War era. Later, coal arrived to support a local power plant.

“You think things are going to boom forever,” said Jane Thompson, a 62-year-old longtime local. “They’re always going to need uranium. They’re always going to need coal.” Continue Reading →

Column: Australian resource companies are becoming renewable energy believers – by Clyde Russell (Reuters India – June 20, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s not quite yet a flood but Australian resource companies are increasingly embracing renewable energies into their mining and natural gas operations even in the face of a federal government that veers toward climate scepticism.

Among recent developments are moves by Rio Tinto to convert its iron ore trains to hybrid power, the commissioning of a solar power plant at an oil and gas facility operated by Santos in South Australia state, and battery storage being integrated into ConocoPhillips’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Darwin.

There are several other projects being undertaken or in place already, and it seems that momentum is growing among companies to look at ways of reducing the use of fossil fuels in mining and oil and gas operations. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Biggest Move to End the ‘War on Coal’ Won’t Rescue the Industry – by Jennifer A Dlouhy (Bloomberg News – June 19, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

President Donald Trump is scaling back sweeping Obama-era curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants burning coal, his biggest step yet to fulfill his campaign promise to stop a “war” on the fossil fuel.

Yet the Environmental Protection Agency’s rewrite of the Clean Power Plan, unveiled Wednesday in Washington, will do little to halt a nationwide shift away from coal and toward cheaper electricity generated by the wind, the sun and natural gas.

The U.S. is experiencing “a wave of coal retirements — and we don’t think we’re near the end of it,” said Nicholas Steckler, head of U.S. power for BloombergNEF. “Coal is inferior to natural gas in many ways today — it’s less flexible, it’s higher cost, even its fuel is generally more expensive, and, of course, it’s dirty. It has so many reasons stacked against it.” Continue Reading →