The Asia Miner

APR-JUN 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 26 of 71

the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 2 25 FEATURE: Coal The Insঞtute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Australia says that building new coal mines makes no sense in 2019. The call came a[er IEEFA made a submission to the New South Wales Government, Department of Planning and Environment, objecঞng to Whitehaven Coal's current applicaঞon to open a new thermal coal mine north of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia. Currently being reviewed by the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission, the applicaঞon is to expand Whitehaven Coal's already approved Vickery Coal Project proposal located on an old mine site that ceased producঞon in 1998. Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies with IEEFA firmly objects to the company's applicaঞon. "Building a huge new thermal coal mine simply makes no sense for Australia in 2019," says Mr Buckley. "This applicaঞon shows the outdated coal industry is being le[ behind as cheaper renewable energies increasingly become part of the mix and lenders shi[ away from coal, parঞcularly more expensive imported coal." Over 100 globally significant financial insঞtuঞons including public and private banks, credit agencies and insurance groups have restricted coal financing including 40per cent of the top 40 global banks and 20 globally significant insurers. The majority of the insঞtuঞon's announcements are 'climate' policies reflecঞng an acceptance of climate science and a serious reorientaঞon of business strategies. Since the start of 2018 there have been 34 new or significantly improved announcements from global financial insঞtuঞons restricঞng coal. "While renewable energies are increasingly cheaper, global coal trade has peaked and Australia needs to avoid flooding the declining market profile over the coming decade with unnecessary new supply," says Mr Buckley. "This week, the Reserve Bank of Australia's Deputy Governor stated climate change will be an 'abrupt and disorderly' blow to Australia's financial stability. "Guy Debelle called for an orderly transiঞon to a low carbon economy, which obviously doesn't include opening up new high emission coal mines like the one Whitehaven is hoping to have approved. "The financial, environmental and moral cost of building a new thermal coal mine in the face of climate science accepted by more than 100 global financial insঞtuঞons, plus the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Prudenঞal Regulaঞon Authority and the Australian Securiঞes and Investments Commission outweighs any perceived benefit of puমng more expensive dirty coal into Australia's energy export mix. "This applicaঞon coincides with a ঞme of significant climate related policy announcements from Japan – Australia's top export desঞnaঞon for thermal coal. "This month alone we have seen thermal coal exit moves by Sojitz Corporaঞon and Marubeni Corporaঞon, building on a series of announcements over the last six months." In limiঞng climate change to 1.5-2°C of warming as per the global Paris commitments, IEEFA notes fossil fuel extracঞon must rapidly decrease towards zero net emissions, effecঞve almost immediately. All countries must instead accelerate reliance on sustainable, affordable and renewable non-fossil sources of energy, and accelerate energy efficiency and electrificaঞon of the transport sector as the top prioriঞes to avoid catastrophic climate change. "The first step in this planned transiঞon is to stop new thermal coal mine approvals. When in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging deeper!" says Mr Buckley. "To maximise the value of Australia's exisঞng coal industry and buy ঞme for a planned transiঞon, we need to stop new greenfield developments. "Whitehaven's Vickery Extension Project must be rejected by the NSW Independent Planning Commission," he said. IEEFA Australia objects to Whitehaven Coal's new application IEEFA Australia says building new coal mines makes no sense in 2019

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