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Developer drops plans for China Stone thermal coal mine in Australia’s Galilee Basin

first_imgDeveloper drops plans for China Stone thermal coal mine in Australia’s Galilee Basin FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The backer of a massive coal proposal in the Galilee Basin, adjacent to Adani’s Carmichael mine site, has quietly abandoned its plans amid growing doubts about the long-term profitability of Australian thermal coal exports.The ABC reported this morning that the proponents of the $7bn China Stone mine had withdrawn their application for a mining lease in March. Owners MacMines Austasia, a subsidiary of China’s Meijin Energy Group, has confirmed the project’s future is “under internal discussion” but otherwise declined to comment.China Stone would have exported 38m tonnes of thermal coal a year, and was among the largest of seven proposed coalmines in the Galilee Basin.The collapse of a significant proposal in the Galilee will raise questions about the viability of the remote basin, which has been promoted in Queensland as a significant potential source of regional employment. Six mining proposals in the Galilee have gained necessary approvals, while one other, the Clive Palmer-backed Alpha North proposal, is undergoing an environmental assessment. None has begun construction.Analysts have questioned whether projects are viable in the Galilee, given the lack of existing infrastructure and the cost of transporting coal several hundred kilometres to export ports. Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the economics of thermal coal in the Galilee Basin “just don’t stack up” amid the shift away from thermal coal.“You can’t dismiss BHP, who is one of the biggest suppliers to China in the world,” Buckley said. “As those markets move, regardless of what Australia does, we are exposed,” Buckley said. “China is going hell for leather into hydro, wind and solar because it provides diversity of [energy] supply. China passed peak coal five years ago. Why, in that market, would you go and build a mine that will take you five to 10 years anyway?”More: Galilee Basin mine next to Adani put on hold amid doubts over future of thermal coallast_img read more

Fed unveils major policy shift to maximize job growth

first_imgThe US central bank rolled out a major policy change on Thursday that gives greater weight to its mission of maximizing employment for the benefit of lower income families, while ratcheting back its emphasis on fighting inflation.Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the aim is to correct the “shortfalls” in achieving the Fed’s full employment goal while recognizing that with changes in the global economy, a tight job market does not necessarily drive prices higher.In practice, the change has no impact in the near-term but will keep borrowing rates low for much longer than in prior economic expansions — something President Donald Trump has loudly demanded, though for more political reasons. “This change may appear subtle, but it reflects our view that a robust job market can be sustained without causing an outbreak of inflation,” he told the virtual conference.Powell said the goal now is “to achieve inflation that averages two percent over time,” although he stressed that would not be tied “to a particular mathematical formula.”Adam Posen, former policymaker at the Bank of England, called the update “superb” and long overdue.Powell “did a great job of stressing that this is a reaction to the changing economy was not a change in the goals of the Fed,” Posen, head of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told reporters.High unemployment for yearsBut Kathy Bostjancic of Oxford Economics said the move “largely just codifies” current Fed policy.”Fed officials have been very concerned about the severe damage to the labor market and the desire to swiftly return the unemployment rate back to its pre-COVID level,” she said in an analysis.Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the US unemployment rate had hovered near 50-year lows at 3.5 percent, which brought many people back into the workforce as firms struggled to fill open positions.The Fed chief grew passionate as he described hearing low-income workers explain the dramatic impact of more jobs.”It was just riveting… to hear them talking about what a tight labor market means in their communities,” he said of one of the many “Fed Listens” outreach events. Responding to questions after the video speech, Powell sounded optimistic about the recovery from the coronavirus, as well as a note of caution.The pandemic hit what was a solid economy like a natural disaster, he said, noting that “there’s is still a healthy economy under here, except for this area that’s been directly affected by COVID.”But millions of workers in travel, hotels and restaurants have been directly impacted, which means “a couple of years of… relatively high unemployment.”People in those industries are “really going to struggle to find work” and, “We need to support them.”But, as he has repeatedly stated, this will “take support from Congress” with programs focused on education, training and healthcare.”It’s about all the things that enable people to get into the labor force and stay there and progress in their careers,” Powell said.Topics : “This change reflects our appreciation for the benefits of a strong labor market, particularly for many in low- and moderate-income communities,” Powell said in a speech unveiling the policy.The new policy makes it clear the central bank will allow inflation to stay above its 2.0 percent target “for some time” before raising interest rates.The shift, though telegraphed in recent statements, is significant for the Fed, as inflation for decades has been an economic villain to be stamped out at every turn. It also represented a defeat for inflation hawks, though the change was approved unanimously.Powell, in his speech to the annual Jackson Hole monetary policy conference, said the 10 years since the 2008 global financial crisis — when US inflation remained stubbornly below the 2.0 percent target — has shown that warnings about low unemployment causing price hikes were exaggerated.last_img read more

Republic will never give up – Keane

first_img Substitute Shane Long’s 91st-minute strike at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday evening denied leaders Poland victory and secured a 1-1 draw and a potentially precious point for the Republic. It was the third time in five games to date in the qualifying programme that Martin O’Neill’s men had struck a blow in the dying embers, with John O’Shea snatching a draw in Germany in October last year with a 94th-minute effort after Aiden McGeady’s last-minute winner in Georgia a month earlier. The Republic were less than impressive before the break as they struggled to gain a foothold in the game, and it was not until Hoolahan was moved from his number 10 role to the left flank, in the process freeing up Jon Walters to join Keane in attack, that the tide changed. Keane said: “We maybe showed them a little bit too much respect. We dropped off a little bit too much. But then you see the difference in the second half. Full credit to the players – we showed a lot of character, a lot of heart. “You saw the desperation for us to get back into that game and, thankfully, we did. We were unlucky a couple of times just before that. If we’d have got the early goal, I think we would have put a lot of pressure on them and I think we probably would have gone on and nicked it.” The draw leaves Ireland still three points adrift of Poland and two behind both Germany and Scotland, the latter of whom who head for the Aviva Stadium in June, and keeper Shay Given, who was recalled to the starting line-up in place of David Forde to win in 128th cap, is predicting a tight finish to the pool. He said: “It will probably come down to the wire. It will probably come down to the last couple of games. “Had we lost, it would have been a big blow to us, of course, but we have still got a lot of games to go, and who knows what that point is going to do at the end of the campaign? It was a massive point, I think. “It was such a late goal, you probably take it as a point gained. We’ll have belief as well going to Poland, especially from the second-half performance. “They are a good team, but you can get at them. If we can play on the front foot out in Poland as well, then we can cause them some problems. The second-half performance was pretty pleasing and, if we could take that into the Scotland game as well, then I think it will be a big point.” Press Association Robbie Keane has warned the Republic of Ireland’s Group D rivals that they will fight until the last second of the campaign to secure a place in the Euro 2016 finals. Asked if a draw with the Poles in Dublin represented two points dropped, captain Keane said: “No. When you go a goal behind and you score in the last few minutes of the game, it’s certainly a point gained. “If we’d have scored earlier, maybe so, if we’d continue to play the way we did in the second half. But when you score a goal in the last few minutes, it’s certainly a point gained. “It will give us confidence as well going into the next game, knowing that we can keep going and fighting until the very end and get something out of the game.” Ireland’s hopes of qualification looked to be hanging by a thread as the game entered its final throes with the visitors tenaciously defending the 26th-minute lead Slawomir Peszko had given them, even if goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had been grateful for the assistance of the woodwork on two occasions. But, in the first of five minutes of stoppage time, the diminutive Wes Hoolahan rose to head Robbie Brady’s corner back across goal, and Long was in the right place at the right time to beat the keeper. Keane said: “Of course, it certainly gives us confidence. You look at the effort from the players fitness-wise, everyone closing down the defenders and closing down the midfielders and how hard we made it in the second half for Poland. “We have to give ourselves a lot of credit. When you go a goal behind against anybody, it’s always difficult, and when you are chasing the game and chasing the game, you feel like it’s not going to come. “To get that goal at the end was certainly a relief because it was certainly well deserved. It would have been a travesty if we didn’t get something out of the game.” last_img read more