Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine 99

Australia’s underground wealth includes coal, oil, gas, metals and groundwater. How do we use them and should we be exploiting them? How safe it is to tap into them and what if we run out? Further afield, mining has implications for one of the world’s major fisheries and for stability in an already fragile country. Find out more in Issues 99.
Underground coal gasification, in combination with other technologies, has the potential to meet the demands of energy security, efficiency and environmental protection.
The Bristol Bay region in Alaska is at the centre of a decision about developing one of the largest gold and copper mines in the world. What does this mean for a people who are deeply connected to the land and a region that produces half of the world’s sockeye salmon supply?
Mining in Afghanistan is often portrayed as a panacea to the fragile state’s socio-economic problems. It is, however, far from certain whether Kabul can manage the mining sector to exploit its potential benefits.
What is the future of mining in Australia, and can it be more sustainable?
Australian mining has a great international safety reputation, but the nature of risk compels the industry to remain vigilant.
Rare earth elements, for so long ignored by big mining companies, have recently become incredibly popular. Contrary to what their name suggests, they are not particularly rare. They do, however, pose technical and environmental challenges for the companies now rushing to find and extract them.
“Peak oil” – when the rate of oil production worldwide starts its inevitable decline – is widely forecast to occur sometime around 2014. Some are ignoring the possibility of oil shortage, while others are looking at problems and opportunities.
Evidence is mounting that the age of cheap energy – particularly the age of cheap oil – is over. What are the lifestyle implications of this historic turning point?
There is potential to store large volumes of Australia’s freshwater underground to offset climate change, avoid evaporation losses and meet national water needs into the future.
A shortage of helium will be faced in the near future as the nearly completed sell-off of the US strategic reserves suppresses the world’s ability to extract helium from natural gas reservoirs.
The anti-development agenda of the Australian Anti-Coal Movement is a manipulative approach to opposing the industry.
An independent report into coal seam gas has made two key findings.
Coal is set to surpass oil as the most important energy commodity sometime this year.