Staff Writer

ATSE urges mining sector to improve environmental risk management

The paper sets out key recommendations to address high-risk abandoned sites, improve environmental risk management, and earn community trust through transparency measures and public engagement.

Underpinning these actions is a vision of “Australia’s minerals sector becoming the world leader in managing its environmental and socio-economic impacts across both commodity and mining life cycles.” Read more

Oil water separation for businesses and it’s impact on the environment

These waste management techniques have always risked a negative impact on the environment with discharge including petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, surfactants, toxins and/or salts. The result of this contamination potentially renders receiving water sources to be unsuitable as a water supply and even poses a threat to the aquatic life.

As industrial wastes vary from one business operation to another, the possibility of volatile or toxic gas release is prominent in some industrial sites. The volatile compounds that reach receiving waters lead to an excess in nutrients with the potential to cause oxygen deficiency, blooms in algal and increase in water discolouration and turbidity. Read more

Waste to energy in Denmark

Waste to energy in Denmark

Denmark, with its population of about 5.7 million, produces some 15 million tonnes of wastes of all sorts from industry, households, institutions and businesses. Of this, about 3.6 million tonnes is non-recyclable but combustible, and is used as fuel for about 26 waste to energy plants (the number in 2015), with most of these being larger plants producing combined heat and power. The result of this use of waste for energy production means that only about 2% of all waste goes to landfill, with this being material that is not suitable for combustion in these plants, including materials like asbestos. Read more

Veolia’s Danny Conlon details new water treatment plant project

The Mount Piper Power Station (MPPS) provides approximately 15% of NSW’s power, and the Springvale Water Treatment Plant (WTP) will be built under a ‘Build, Own, Operate and Transfer’ contract.

It was commissioned to enhance the quality of mine water discharged, ensure operational compliance in relation to water outflows and most importantly, enable continued operations of both the mine and the power station. Read more

Would I Li to you?

The lithium-ion market was less than 6GWh 10 years ago, yet by 2016 this market was estimated to have surpassed 70GWh and is expected to leap to 223GWh by 2025. China alone, has a target of five million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020, and further sales of around seven million vehicles sold annually by 2025.

Australia is currently the largest producer of lithium, with 14,300 tonnes of lithium extracted last year and home to the world’s largest hard-rock lithium mine, the Talison Lithium Greenbust mine, located in Western Australia. Despite the very clear and growing demand for lithium, very few mining projects globally are shovel ready, although there will be some new hard-rock developments in Australia by 2025. Australia, will for now, continue to be the significant supplier of lithium globally and particularly into China’s conversion industry which relies on hard-rock. However, with new countries such as Argentina now supplying the markets and new technologies with lithium from brine production (which is more cost-effective), where will that leave Australia? Read more

Efficient, low carbon energy could reduce Australia's reliance on gas

Efficient, low carbon energy could reduce Australia’s reliance on gas

The Solving the gas crisis: A big problem deserves a big solution report found that the national demand for gas could be reduced by 321PJ (petajoule) by 2030 through the implementation of energy efficiency measures and by switching to low carbon energy sources in industry and buildings.

It is expected that doing this could meet up to 70% of the projected gas supply shortfall of 465PJ by 2030, while lowering energy costs for all gas users. Read more

Where we're at with the NSW CDS

Where we’re at with the NSW CDS

While the map is now up – there were concerns a week ago about the lack of details –  there are still some questions on who will or should profit from the scheme.
Who should profit? 

Questions have been raised about which entity should be eligible to earn the refund values, MRFs or C&I waste collectors, as this is not factored into the MRF protocol. Read more

NSW needs fresh e-waste definition

NSW needs fresh e-waste definition

In December 2016, in Glassborow’s Inside Waste Legal Eagle column, she raised the problems caused by a lack of a statutory definition of e-waste. Since the article was published, there has still been no progress on the regulation of this unique waste stream.

Khoury has recently also spoken out, requesting that the NSW EPA provide a clear definition of e-waste as e-waste should be defined as a Special Waste within the NSW Waste Classification Guidelines. Read more

$5m invested for global knowledge sharing in renewables

$5m invested for global knowledge sharing in renewables

The Australian government, through ARENA, has provided $5 million to the International Engagement Program (IEP) to support knowledge sharing about renewable energy technology with researchers and industry leaders around the world.

The program’s focus will be to accelerate innovation in research and technology development and drive the commercialisation of Australian renewable energy technologies.

“The IEP is a gateway to opportunity,” said Ivor Frischknecht, ARENA chief executive. Read more

Legal Eagle: First unfair contract terms court case by the ACCC

Legal Eagle: First unfair contract terms court case by the ACCC

Back in November 2016, new legislation was passed with the intent to protect small businesses from unfair terms in business-to-business standard form contracts.

Contracts for the supply of goods and/or services will amount to a “small business contract” if, at the time of entering into the contract:

  • the counterparty is a business employing fewer than 20 people; and
  • the upfront price payable under the contract is no more than $300,000 or $1 million if the contract is for more than 12 months.

Read more