In today’s talking points: Clean energy’s market share in China continues to grow; Potential for another Australian mining boom; Broken Hill mine looks set to reopen
Clean energy grows in Harbin
Clean energy continues to make up a larger share of total energy production in China’s north-eastern Heilongjiang province. Renewable energy has grown by 2.6% percent since 2016, and 5% since 2015. Wind energy alone generated 10.8 billion kwh in 2017 to make up 15% of the total energy market, an increase of 22% from 2016. According to Heilongjiang Power Company, this amount is equivalent to four 600MW coal power plants, avoiding the production of up to 8.2 million tons of environmental pollutants.
Read more at: Xinhua
Tech metals next Australian mining opportunity
Rare earth metals and other minerals necessary for the production of modern technological devices could drive the next mining boom in Australia. While coal and iron ore make up the bulk of Australia’s mineral exports, with increasing demand for smart devices and vehicles, rare earth metals are rapidly forming a larger share. Typically sourced from China, manufacturers are increasingly looking for additional sources globally, of which Australia is a favoured option. Arafura Resources managing director Gavin Lockyer states that Australia is the perfect location for both mining and processing these metals due to its pre-existing regulatory environment, allowing for the rapid production of a high purity product.
Read more at: ABC
Plans to reopen Broken Hill mine approved
Broken Hill’s North Mine has reopened after a lengthy formal approval process that began when the mine was given interim approval in 2016. Before reopening the planning department and the Environmental Protection Authority twice requested information regarding lead in the surrounding environment, as lead, silver and zinc are extracted from the mine and children in Broken Hill have been found to have abnormally high blood lead levels. The reopening is expected to create 140 new jobs for the town and it is anticipated that over a 25-year period the mine will generate up to $5.8 billion a year of royalties for NSW. Broken Hill, the birthplace of BHP – originally called Broken Hill Proprietary – has suffered a blow to its population with the closure of nearby mines. However, renewable energy projects have also provided additional support to the economy.
Read more at: ABC