Developer 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of Australian thermal coal exports.The ABC reported this morning that the proponents of the $7bn China Stone mine had withdrawn their application for a mining lease in March.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 coal
While the Alliance For Change (AFC) is singing the praises of the Cummingsburg Accord that brought it elections victory, a former executive member of the party is describing the agreement, three years later, as nothing more than a sham.Former AFC Executive Sase SinghAccording to former AFC Executive Sasenarine Singh, the Accord was marketed particularly to the youths as a forerunner to change. This change, Singh noted, was supposed to fulfill the wishes of youth.“However, history has exposed what a sham that promise proved to be; because, in reality, the Cummingsburg Accord has been one of the most dishonest documents (and) was hijacked by some very insincere people who cared little about the youths of Guyana.“It was more a document to facilitate some fat pensions and perks for some septuagenarians and octogenarians. To really talk about the Cummingsburg Accord, the entire situation must be given context. The way the Cummingsburg Accord was sold to the nation in 2015 was that it was going to be designed to reflect the wishes of the youths.”Reflecting on his time spent campaigning with and for the AFC on the frontlines during the 2011 General and Regional elections, Singh noted that the youths wanted change and a more accountable government.Singh also suggested that had the party’s co-founder, Sheila Holder, been alive today, she would have resisted an alliance with the People’s National Congress (PNC)- dominated APNU due to her independence of thought.PraiseEarlier this week, the Alliance For Change (AFC) Public Relations Committee had hailed the agreement in the wake of its anniversary. Despite persistent analysis and criticism of the party’s passivity in matters ranging from unconstitutional appointments to massive loss of jobs in the sugar belt, the AFC maintained the accord’s usefulness.“The Accord laid the foundation for the restoration of honour, dignity, credibility and unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in executive governance in Guyana. The Cummingsburg Accord is, without question or debate, one of the most significant partnership and collaborative agreements in the Caribbean’s political history,” the party had claimed.“The Cummingsburg Accord is a sunset agreement for 3 to 5 years. The three-year mark has been reached. Having achieved the initial objectives of the restoration of the rule of law and order in our beloved country, the party has been reviewing the accord as we work with all parties with shared interests to unlock Guyana’s true potential,” the AFC had continued.There have been other criticisms of the Accord, including the fact that certain provisions were never followed. The Accord had designated responsibilities, such as domestic affairs and chairing of the Cabinet, to AFC executive Moses Nagamootoo, the Prime Minister.Ever since these things did not materialise, the Prime Minister has always had to defend against claims that his role was ceremonial. In addition, Nagamootoo has, for some time, expressed the need for a revised agreement.In April of last year, Nagamootoo had said that he was of the firm opinion that a renegotiation of the Cummingsburg Accord was in high order. He had noted that the agreement was supposed to be for a limited time duration and that when the Government was midterm, it should be reviewed.Former AFC General Secretary and Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had, in the past, complained that the day-to-day administration of the Accord has been problematic, especially at the local level.