Don’t forget to read : "In the Press" for all current and past bauxite articles covered by the Toodyay Herald!!!
Warning. Warning. Warning
- Published: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:20
Bauxite Resource Limited (BRL) are back in the game.
After BRL selling their previous interests in both the Felictas and Fortuna resources earlier in the year to Yankuang, on the 10th of August 2016, BRL were granted a new Exploration Tenement E70/3537, which takes in the old Boral quarry and part of the disused road that services it. The road runs from Morangup Rd to the quarry passing the Yankuang weather station on the way.
The tenement crosses the Avon River and heads toward Julimar Rd, but not before heading west, in what is discribed as a rail corridor, that follows the rail line toward Quarry Rd deep into the Avon Valley National Park (AVNP).
If and when Yankuang are able to get a mine approved, this new tenement will play a vital role in providing access to the now dilapidated (Old Boral )rail siding, which would be upgraded to accommodate a load out facility right next door to the Avon river and surrounded by the AVNP.
The rail corridor in this new tenement, links the Felicitas and Fortuna resources to vital infrastructure, which now sits on mining tenements that the proponents (BRL) will probably try to sell to Yankuang, or may try to ride off their back, if and when Yankuang are able to get a mine up and running.
BRL's share price on Hot Copper jumped a few cents since the tenement was granted, but nothing has appeared on their website.
We can no longer sleep on this issue, we must band together in opposition of these proposals, or one day we will wake up next door to a mine site and all of the negative impacts associated with it.
We have State elections in March next year, so lets make this an election issue.
New Mobile Sign
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 22:17
AHMAG would like to thank our supporters who have donated their time, money and materials to help us build another mobile sign.
The threat of open cut bauxite mining here in Morangup, Woorolloo and Wundowie may have subsided for now, but make no mistake about it, Yankuang have not gone away and neither have we.
The fight will continue to halt these outrageous plans to open cut mine bauxite here in the Perth Hills and the Avon catchment and with your help we can and will WIN.
We are also working on a short documentary, so keep an eye out for its future release.
It’s amazing what can be found if you look behind the Curtain
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 22:13
Yankuang Group, China's fourth largest state-owned resources company, who own Yankuang Bauxite Resources and Yancoal are diversifying into cattle among other things.
The article below is probably one of the most unsettling stories that we have reported on to date, given that when Yankuang Resources were in partnership with Bauxite Resource Limited as BAJV their slogan in Bindoon was "Beef and Bauxite".
With the Mauravillo estate being sandwiched between Lake Glesna and Cheddaring farm, which have recently been sold to Singaporean / Chinese investors, it could well be the start of acquisitions that on the surface may merely look like farming enterprises for cattle production, but throw the "Beef and Bauxite" slogan into the mix and we could all be in a whole lot of trouble.
If you hear of farms being sold to Chinese investors in Morangup, Wundowie or Woorolloo, please let us know, as we all need to stay vigilant and with your help we can.
Image source: AFR Weekend
AHMAG army back in the trenches
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 22:02
Two of our AHMAG army members David and Hope Jones look set to be regulars in the Woolworths arcade in Mundaring, where they will be collecting signatures on AHMAG’s new petition that asks our state government not to approve new bulk commodity mines within 100km from Perth’s C.B.D.
If you would like to sign our new petition, then keep an eye open for them, we are sure they would love to see you again, or meet you for the first time.
Water Under Threat
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:58
Probably the single biggest threat to our existence here in this beautiful part of Western Australia is the loss and contamination of our ground water and contamination of our rain water supplies, by Land fill operators and mining companies.
If we are not prepared to protect our precious and fragile water supplies from the scourge of companies that are only concerned about their own monetary interests, while completely disregarding the interests of our communities and our right to clean water, then what type of message are we sending to our kids and our grandchildren?
We must unite and fight.
Protect the Darling Range's fragile water resources which supply Perth to Kalgoorlie against exploitation and ruin. Join us to raise awareness, change legislation and protect our water future.
Enough is Enough
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:50
Sometimes mining should never be considered and tenements should be cancelled in areas where people’s lifestyles and property values would be put at considerable risk if approvals were to be granted.
The magnificent Mauravillo Private Estate near Wundowie will be right in the firing line and surrounded on 3 sides, if and when the Felicitas and Fortuna resources are ever developed by the People's Republic of China.
With the new buyers in Mauravillo, coupled with the 900 residents already living in Morangup, it will take the number of residents within close proximity to these outrageous proposals to over 1,000 people.
Together we can and will be heard, but we must speak out.
State elections are now just around the corner in March 2017, so let’s make some noise!
Alcoa Bauxite Shipment Is Dangerous For Our Communities
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:44
It has long been said that the only way to make money out of Darling Range bauxite was to refine it locally. That reason alone left many people sitting on the fence in regard to whether or not a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) operation would ever get off the ground here in the Toodyay, Northam and Mundaring shires.
For many years Alcoa have mined bauxite from the Huntley and Willowdale mines soley to feed their 3 hungry alumina refinieries at Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup.
Part of the original State agreement signed with the State Government and Alcoa meant that mining and refining would go hand in hand to employ many West Australian workers.
Last year the Premier Colin Barnett (the then minister for mines) granted approval for Alcoa to export 500,000 tonnes of bauxite for trial refining in Asian refineries.
It was reported in the West today that a ship sitting in Kwinana has been loaded with 47,000 tonnes of bauxite and will ship out within days. Destination China.
If Alcoa can find a market for low grade bauxite of between 27 - 31% Al203 content (Which is the same as the grade found here), then the chance of Yankuang operating a DSO operation here from the Felicitas and Fortuna resources looks more and more feasible.
Are we actually going to allow this to happen HERE???
Guess who’s listed as a sponsor at the Toodyay Show for 2016?
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:39
“Yankuang Bauxite Resourses” complete with the Yancoal logo.
If you thought they were gone, then think again.
The 100% Chinese state-owned company looks set to make a return to Toodyay in October at the ag show. In what form is yet to be seen, but not so long ago they were here doing exploration and trading under the now terminated name BAJV which was a JV 70% owned by Yankuang Resources and 30% by BRL.
The promise of jobs had our shire completely blinded by their misguided views that mining would somehow save Toodyay, the question was always, from what?
At the peak of the push to mine here it created much unrest in our communities with Morangup smack bang in the firing line and now the new Mauravillo estate looks set to be heavily impacted if both the Felicitas and Fortuna mines become operational.
What type of propaganda will they have in store for us at this years show?
How many jobs will they promise?
How close will they be working with the Toodyay Shire?
Thanks to the M.6 mining policy council can continue to converse with mining companies without ever being questioned by their own constituents in relation to what is proposed here by mining companies.
90% of the resource sits on land owned by Peter Cook, who was previously quoted as saying he had made no deals with the Chinese, but if they came to him with a suitable deal to purchase his 20,000 plus acres of land, then he would sit down and negotiate.
Are talks once again underway?
It seems that straight answers are still hard to come by, but one thing is for sure, Chinese / Singaporean investors are buying up farms in the area, the Toodyay Shire where most of the resource is located now has the M.6 mining policy to eliminate being questioned by us their constituents, Yangkuang Bauxite Resources are sponsoring the Toodyay Show and our problems look set to reamerge.
What side of the fence will you sit on when the Chinese come back to town???
Tasmania and Bald Hill
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:32
Last month while holidaying in Tasmania I was driving along the Midland Highway towards Hobart and about 8 kilometers out of Campbell Town I could see huge red mounds on the ridge line.
Before long it became clear I was looking at stock piles that had been pushed up from Tasmania’s first ever bauxite mine “Bald Hill”.
I knew that Australian Bauxite Limited had been granted approval in late 2014 to operate the first new bauxite mine in Australia in over 35 years, but I did not know where the mine was actually located. That was until the stockpiles appeared as an obvious blight on Tasmania’s landscape.
Curious as to what locals thought of bauxite mining close to their town, I visited a few of the local shops including the local council licensing agency. I asked each person what the red mounds were on the ridgeline on the way into town and everyone was oblivious to the fact that a bauxite mine had started literally under their noses.
When I asked the council employee where the local Shire Council building was, I was told that it was in Longford, some 45 minutes drive from Campbell Town. One could assume that this coupled with poor community consultation from Australian Bauxite could be the reason that locals knew nothing about bauxite mining on the door step of their own town.
Given the initial information vacuum that occurred in the Toodyay shire, with no information coming out of our shire and little to none coming out of BAJV / BRL (Tenements now 100% owned by Yangkuang Bauxite Resources) I was not surprised to find out that locals knew nothing about Bald Hill.
In fact after speaking to people from other towns around Tassie no one knew that a bauxite mine had started operating on the Island.
Further investigations uncovered an article written by Rachel Dally-Watkins who writes for Australian Mining Review, Australian Bauxite Limited managing director Ian Levy was quoted in the article as saying “Australian Bauxite have a company policy that no matter what the law, we will never go where we are not invited and we will only operate where we are welcome”.
I guess that only applies when people know you are there in the first place.
However, his statement only further cements what we already know, “and that is” mining companies do require a social license to operate. If we are to successfully oppose bauxite mining here, then we must never allow a social license to exist.
Those who do not wish to speak out within our communities and wish to remain silent, merely enable mining companies like these to get a foothold where they are not wanted.
The only way to stop bauxite mining here is for everyone to find their voice, because if we don't, we know what the Chinese government have planned for us.
Weather Station In Morangup
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:22
At the height of the push from BAJV / BRL to set up working bauxite mines here, a weather station was installed on the corner of Morangup Rd and the old Boral quarry road that runs to the Avon River, along side the Morangup Timber Reserve.
With the termination of BAJV and the re-badging of their Facebook page and part of the website to the newly named entity Yankuang Bauxite Resources, YBR became 100% owners of this asset.
The weather station is still fully operational collecting and sending live and current data back to YBR in readiness for a future referral to the EPA, as part of the approval process to mine.
Click on the following link which will take you to the partly renamed BAJV website, where you can see what data is being collected.
Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures: Daily Weather Summary
Yankuang Bauxite Resources Pty Ltd
Our fight is not over by a long shot, it is merely on hold.
We all need to regroup, stay vigilant and get ready for one hell of a fight!!!
Chinese/Singaporean Investors Buy Lake Glesna
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 21:01
The developer of Mauravillo Estate in Wundowie, JB Investments, has sold Lake Glesna a 491 hectare site to Chinese / Singaporean investors.
Lake Glesna has an amazing spring-fed freshwater lake and is located between Mauravillo residential estate and Glesna Park owned by major landholder and farmer Peter Cook.
Glesna Park is a 5000 acre property that forms part of the Felicitas bauxite resource where tenements are owned by the recently formed Yankuang Bauxite Resources (YBR) which is 100 per cent owned by the Chinese Government.
This sale coupled with the previous sale to foreign investors of Mark Hay’s Chedaring Farm on Golf Links Road Wundowie, creates even more questions and uncertainty in the area.
What lies ahead for neighboring communities and property owners in close proximity to the Felicitas and Fortuna bauxite resources?
There have been rumors of beef cattle and feedlots thrown into the speculation of land usage and it is interesting to note that when Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures (BAJV) was operating in Bindoon, its slogan was “Beef and Bauxite”.
Bruce Groenewald, YBR’s exploration manager, has stated the bauxite projects will go ahead when economic conditions improve in China, probably within the next couple of years.
Mr Groenewald in response to a prospective resident’s inquiry about mining also stated that:
The changeover of tenements from one business to another is taking some time to process.
When the money starts coming back in they will try to buy up parcels of land to secure the area.
Exploration will continue.
They will complete their environmental studies.
There will be vast amounts of financial outlay to begin with, including the construction of the conveyer belt that will run under Toodyay Road (road needs to be lifted or tunneled under) and over Morangup Road.
The disused rail siding near Cobbler Pool on the Avon River would need to be rebuilt to accommodate load-out facilities for trains.
The mine, according to Mr Groenewald will operate for a minimum of 25 years but for now he was in a ‘curating’ mode.
Unlike BAJV who had a shopfront in Toodyay, there has been no update from Yankuang since the takeover in January this year and as far as Mr Groenewald is concerned, it seems to be business as usual.
If readers of our Face Book page hear of local land sales close to the proposed mining areas to overseas investors, please contact
AHMAG via Facebook or ring Brian on 0418 898 788.
With your support we can remain vigilant and stand together against the threat to mine HERE, because the Chinese Government owned entity YBR will be back.
WA will go to the polls in March 2017, so we need put preasure on our candidates to protect our communities, our farm land, our water ways & supplies, our flora and fauna, as well as the precious environment here in the Darling Range.
Click the image below to view or download a larger PDF version.
Locals Warm To Wood Raffle
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 20:51
AHMAG would like to congratulate volunteer fire fighter Ron Larkin from Morangup who is the winner of our first ever jarrah wood raffle.
We would also like to thank all of our supporters who purchased tickets and we hope that you will try your luck again when we raffle the next trailer load.
Ron Larkin left - Brian Dale right
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 20:47
The Chinese Government (Yankuang) now have 100% ownership and control of the Fortuna Resource tenements close to Wundowie, the Mauravillo and Dale View Estates.
Farmer leaves gate open to mine bauxite
- Published: Friday, 12 August 2016 20:39
Toodyay Herald March 2016
I was lucky enough to meet local farmer Peter Cook whose land in Morangup, Wundowie and Wooroloo covers roughly 90 per cent of the proposed Felicitas bauxite mine and more than half of the land for Fortuna.
Mr Cook has been farming in and around the Toodyay shire for decades and is the key to Chinese Government plans to mine bauxite in the Darling Ranges. He is much as I had imagined him to be – sharp as a tack and obviously a very shrewd businessman. A pretty fit-looking gentleman in his seventies who shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Mr Cook was very open and frank and answered most of my questions. He said that when Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures (BAJV)/Bauxite Resources Limited (BRL) approached him to explore for minerals on his land, the first thing he did was contact another farmer, Andrew Hare, who owned the Bindoon property where BAJV/BRL had mined 130,000 tonnes of bauxite. (This was mined on an extractive industries license obtained from the Shire of Chittering without obtaining proper approvals.)
According to Mr Cook, Mr Hare told him that his experience with the companies was good and he was happy with the outcome. As a result, Mr Cook agreed to allow BAJV to explore for minerals on his own land. The rest, as they say, is history. A big bauxite deposit was found and BAJV set up a Toodyay shopfront to tell us how great mining would be for the rest of us.
The mining company continued to present a ‘business as usual’ stance even though Mr Cook said he had cancelled their access agreements in early 2015. For decades Mr Cook, who continues to buy more land, has been accumulating farmland in Morangup, Wundowie and Wooroloo and is now one of the region’s biggest landholders. I asked him why he was still buying more land and he said it was to provide access between blocks for possible future subdivisions.
Mr Cook said he believed the proposed bauxite mines would never eventuate.
Over the two hours or so that I spent with him, I touched many times on what his intentions were in relation to mining on his land, and his answer did not change. He said that for the moment he was happy to farm the land because he enjoyed the lifestyle. However, at some point in the not-too distant future, he would either apply to subdivide part of his land or sit down and talk to the mining companies if they came back to him.
He made it crystal clear during our meeting that his door was still wide open to mining on his land if terms, conditions and money could be met.
I asked Mr Cook what type of legacy he wanted to leave behind – did he want to be remembered as the man who allowed mining in the Darling Range or did he want to be known as the one who stopped mining impacting local communities? It’s the only question to which I did not get a clear answer.
Everyone has their own reasons for the decisions that they make in life so let us hope Mr Cook remains a farmer/land developer.
Picture by Allan Rose, Morangup