Stop Serial Polluter Clive Palmer from building the Alpha North Coal Mine - Galilee Basin

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The Problem

Serial polluter Clive Palmer is seeking approval to build a new coal mine in the Galilee Basin in QLD. His new mine, called Alpha North, will be 33% larger than the infamous Adani mine. Comparatively, Adani plans to mine 60 million tonnes of coal per year, while Palmer plans to extract 80 million tonnes per year.

So what has Palmer done is the past to make us concerned?

  • In 2009, Palmer acquired a nickel refinery called Queensland Nickel from BHP, who were looking to get rid of it due to the massive maintenance and restoration expenses involved.
  • After Queensland Nickel was acquired by Palmer, he decreased restoration provisions from $318.6 million to $42.5 million.
  • Palmer also decreased the annual maintenance spend to just $39 million, in comparison to the $80 million that BHP invested annually.
  • This resulted in 80 separate "level 4 operating envelope exceptions" in 2016 alone, which are events that demonstrate failure of critical controls.
  • In 2013, the World Wildlife Fund made a statement that three ponds at the Nickel Refinery, containing toxic industrial waste, were at risk of overflowing when seasonal storms hit. Plamer sued the WWF and surprisingly won, but then in 2014, his tailings dam did in fact collapse, due to heavy rains, and overflowed for 5 consecutive days. As a result, toxic waste leaked into the surrounding natural environment.
  • Even though Queensland Nickel went into liquidation in 2016, earlier this year (2018), a leak in the oil pipeline, connecting the refinery to the Townsville Port, split oil into the environment.

Facts

  • Coral dies within 2 weeks of exposure to coal
  • In 2017, half of the coral in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef died in massive bleaching due to high water temperatures
  • Palmer plans to transport the coal from the Alpha North coal mine, operated by Waratah Coal (also known as Chine First) through the Great Barrier Reef

 



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