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Adani’s Australian coal mine project may wipe out aboriginal Wangan and Jagalingou people

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Australia’s aboriginal landowners have filed a fresh federal court case against the Indian mining giant, Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine project.

ET reported that the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, the traditional owners of the land, said on Friday that they have vowed to stop the project, amounting to A$16.5 billion dollars, the biggest in Australian history. They said that if the project goes ahead, the W&J’s vast traditional lands and their ancient connection to the country will “disappear” forever.

“We have filed an appeal and judicial review in the federal court of Australia. This court action challenges the decision of Australia’s National Native Title Tribunal that the Queensland government may issue mining leases for Carmichael,” said W&J spokesperson Adrian Burragubba.

“This challenge is unprecedented in the history of Native Title Tribunal decisions. If necessary, we will take our case all the way to the high court,” he added.

“We will communicate to the banks that we do not consent to Carmichael… We will remind them that any bank that funds Carmichael will be breaching important human rights principles to which they are signatory; principles requiring that projects that affect indigenous Owners have their consent. We’ll urge them to honour their obligations and commit to ruling out funding,” said Burragubba as reported by ET.

In reaction to the challenge, Adani Group’s Australia spokesperson told ET, “Adani is confident that the judgement of the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) will be upheld.”

“The NNTT variously held that authorised representatives of the W&J are working with the company, the submissions of groups purporting to represent the whole group were not relevant, that the mine and other Adani projects would deliver substantial inter generational economic benefits to the W&J, and that are sound and effective cultural heritage management plans for the site long since in place.”

“It is unfortunate that NGOs who have deductible gift recipient status, narrowly with respect to their environmental activities have admitted to channeling funds to run a divisive campaign within the W&J group”, added the spokesperson.

 

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US to Work with Australia, Canada to Cut Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements is controlled by one country

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US, Australia, Canada
FILE - Samples of rare earth minerals (L-R): Cerium oxide, Bastnasite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate are on display during a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. VOA

The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce global reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, including mobile phones, electric vehicles, batteries, and fighter jets.

“Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements — is controlled by one country,” the State Department said in a fact sheet outlining the effort, which it has dubbed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative. “Reliance on any one source increases the risk of supply disruptions.”

US, Australia, Canada
The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world. VOA

Under the plan, the United States will share mining expertise with other countries to help them discover and develop their resources, and advise on management and governance frameworks to help ensure their industries are attractive to international investors.

Doing so will help to ensure global supply for the minerals can meet world demand, which is projected to surge alongside the growing take-up in high-technology goods. “Demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1,000% by 2050,” according to the fact sheet.

Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview that tensions with China show the United States should be producing more rare earth minerals and help others ensure a secure supply. “We need to do more and we are not alone in this,” Fannon said.

Canada and Australia, two major mining countries, were partnering in the effort and other allies could join later, a U.S. official said.

Also Read- In Hot Water? Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Canadian officials have met with the State Department several times to discuss critical minerals and environmental issues around global mining and he looks forward to advancing the initiative.

Representatives of Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plan was first reported on Tuesday morning by the Financial Times.

The plan comes a week after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended urgent steps to boost U.S. domestic production of “critical minerals,” including by providing low-interest loans to mining companies and requiring defense companies to “buy American.”

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Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports. Pixabay

The Commerce report also recommended that U.S. agencies review areas that are currently protected from development and assess whether those restrictions should be lifted or reduced to allow for critical minerals development. (VOA)