Australian mining tycoon blasts coal seam gas

Aug 28, 2011
Mining magnate Clive Palmer gives a press conference in Perth last year. Palmer on Saturday hit out at the country's growing coal seam gas industry, saying there were concerns it could lead to environmental contamination.

Australian mining tycoon Clive Palmer on Saturday hit out at the country's growing coal seam gas industry, saying there were concerns it could lead to environmental contamination.

Palmer, who has plans to expand Queensland's open-cut and underground thermal operations, said he had reservations about Coal Seam Gas (CSG), typically methane found trapped in coal beds often released using water.

"The discussions I've had with overseas companies that do extract coal seam gas and are in operations and are using different technologies," Palmer told a National Party conference in Canberra.

"... they're concerned that maybe the people who are doing it in Australia are not as skilled, not as well trained, and do not have the same technological background that they do."

A government inquiry is looking at the impact of CSG, an industry which has boomed in coal-rich Queensland state in recent years, on the economy and environment.

Critics say the industry could pollute the environment because it uses a drilling technique known as , or "fracking", of underground by injecting chemicals and water to release trapped gas.

The process has prompted calls for more scientific research into the industry because of the potential for Australia's groundwater resources to be damaged by .

Palmer said the government needed to ensure water supplies were protected.

"The risk if they don't get that right is the contamination of the with things like arsenic and other ," he said.

"We don't want that to happen because that affects stock and it could affect human life when we're eating the stock and drinking the water.

"I think it will be devastating in certain areas and that's what we've got to worry about."

Gavin Wendt, a senior resources analyst with Mine Life, said major CSG operations in Australia were to the best of international standards.

But he said the industry had evolved so rapidly that regulators were playing catch-up to ensure all environmental concerns were covered.

Palmer has built his fortune on property development and mining and owns vast iron ore reserves in Western Australia as well as coal interests in Queensland.

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User comments : 11

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1.7 / 5 (7) Aug 28, 2011
sounds like the pig just wants to eliminate the competition?
2.7 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2011
Overbearing overfeed fat arsehole scared he might lose a tiny amount of profit?

He might knows a thing or two about trapped gas though? :)
2 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2011
3.4 / 5 (8) Aug 28, 2011
Sounds like a good man who hasn't let becoming wealthy cost him his common sense in regards to ways of making money.

Too bad cynical types question his motives, especially since AS AN OWNER of VAST COAL fields HIS bottom line will be hit hard.

Using this strategy to kill competitition makes about as much sense as a fish draining a lake to kill other fish.
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
Thank you for the calm response Jonseer. I hate these big business people as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean ALL of them have lost their way, just a pretty large chunk of them.
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
He's right, you know. But, he didn't compare fraturingn to the dangers of mining and burning coal. As it all boils down to dollars, the hell with environment, let the cheapest method win.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2011
All about money.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2011
Why is this on Physorg?
not rated yet Aug 29, 2011
Or he wants to prevent the further poisoning of the environment.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2011
Perhaps the negative sentiments are provoked by his image as the prototypical "fat cat". I agree though, mostly these guys only address what affects their own interests, any contrary claims need to be examined extremely closely. I'm thinking of Perot (an owner of huge N Gas reserves) promoting wind generation, which essentially is simply a means of shutting down continuous baseload generation like nuclear and coal, and replacing it with intermittent and usually inefficient gas turbine generation, a huge benefit for owners of N Gas.
1 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2011
... they're concerned that maybe the people who are doing it in Australia are not as skilled, not as well trained, and do not have the same technological background that they do.

With all the kangaroos hopping down our freeways and being a bunch of incapable slobs that make no use of our world class education and training systems - of course we have no relevant skills.

Piss off Palmer you are a self interested jerk.

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