Mining risk to Great Barrier Reef

The Federal government has approved a new coal terminal at Queensland’s Abbot Point port, 25kms north-west of Bowen and very near to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Greenpeace has recently called for tough action from state and federal governments, after scientists revealed the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in just 27 years, and may lose half again in the next ten years.

Greenpeace campaigner Georgina Woods said,

“The Reef is in peril, but Australia has yet to respond to a World Heritage Committee decision, requesting we do not approve any more development that will impact on its Outstanding Universal Value”, and added, “If Australia wants to get tough on coral bleaching, we have to do more to cut pollution by cutting our coal exports.

According to Greenpeace, there are applications for nine new coal export terminals to be built along the Great Barrier Reef coast.

The most recent approval comes with a set of 60 conditions, designed to protect the Reef and the environment surrounding the terminal. The new terminal will be used by the joint GVK/Hancock Alpha Coal project, to ship thermal coal overseas from its mine in the Galilee Basin. A $10 billion project, it includes the mine and port facilities at Abbot Point, and a 495 km rail line. The joint venture expects to ship its first coal in 2016.

Coal miners, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC) and BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) – through its alliance with Mitsubishi, already use Abbot Point to ship coal from their Queensland mines in the Bowen and Galilee basins. Junior explorers, Bandanna Energy (ASX: BND) and Carabella Resources (ASX: CLR) are also likely to ship coal through Abbot Point, once they get their coal projects into production.

The Foolish bottom line

Falling coal prices may limit new coal mine projects coming on stream, and that is likely to delay the building of additional terminals at Abbot Point. Whether the new terminals will cause damage to the Reef and surrounding environment remains to be seen, but you can bet your bottom dollar, Greenpeace won’t be too happy about the most recent approval.

If you are just looking for ASX investing ideas, look no further than our brand new free report: The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2012-13. In this free report, Investment Analyst Scott Phillips names his top pick for 2012-13…and beyond. Click here now to find out the name of this small but growing software company with huge potential. But hurry – the report is free for only a limited period of time.

More reading

Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in BHP. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy For 2019

For many, blue chip stocks mean stability, profitability and regular dividends, often fully franked…

But knowing which blue chips to buy, and when, can be fraught with danger.

The Motley Fool’s in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of The Motley Fool’s Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2019.

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in a specially prepared FREE report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand – and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves – we may be forced to remove this report.

See the 3 blue chip stocks

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.