SA Mines and Energy Journal : December 2010 - January 2011
DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 43 The canary is reluctant to pick out individual mining companies to praise for their social responsibility efforts, when many of them are achieving so much. However, November saw OZ Minerals appoint its first woman to the board, Rebecca McGrath, bringing into focus the company's continuing commitment to increase the percentage of women on its workforce at all levels. This includes strategies to address their specific needs, and also involves research with the University of South Australia on workplace diversity. Additionally, OZ seems to be on the right track with its pre-employment program for the long-term unemployed, seeing many Indigenous locals successfully gaining employment (see page 17), and in spending time and money to inform and motivate students about geology and mining careers. With the current skills shortage looking to intensify in our industry, these initiatives will not only keep OZ moving ahead full throttle into the new year, but also benefit our community long term on a State, and ultimately much greater, level. THE CANARY Do you have a story to knock The Canary off his perch? Send it to email@example.com Confidentiality assured. MRRT outcomes The canary applauds the new Gillard government seeking industry input on the design of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) through the Policy Transition Group (PTG) - though it was interesting to note that most of the PTG's consultation meetings in the eastern states (including Adelaide) were scheduled for after the closing date for submissions on October 28. The canary is sniffing the air on this one, especially for the smell of dead promises regarding rebating of State royalties! More obstacles to come? Some proposed changes by the State Government to 'better' manage protected areas on private lands have come to light in recent weeks. This includes an updated heritage category and a new National Park/Conservation Park category. It is highly likely the top tier -- National Park on private land -- would exclude mining and exploration activities. Under this scenario, a management plan would be developed by the land owner and approved by the Minister for the Environment. Whilst the Minister for Mineral Resources would be consulted, their consent would not be required. With the large amount of private land in our State, the impact on the mining industry if the proposed changes were to come into effect could be substantial. The canary will keep its ear to the ground on this one. Barry's Joke Why are there no aspirins in the aviary? Parrots-eat-em-all (Barry Goldstein is Director Petroleum and Geothermal at PIRSA) The Canary wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, and looks ahead to what might be in store for 2011... The Great OZ WPA Hawke Review The canary is also taking a keen interest in the final recommendations of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) Hawke review, following the release of the Interim Report in early November. The interim report proposed some sharing of areas, but it looks bleak at this stage for explorers caught in the 'red zone' within the Core Area of Operation. Public comment on the interim report has now closed, with Dr Hawke to present his final review by the end of this year. The canary will keep peeking above the parapet, hoping not to get hit by 'friendly' fire.