The truth about the Mining lie
This week has been a bad one for National's plan to mine in conservation land. What National are relying on are NZers pragmatism on this issue, while we face a record slump in the economy with 7.3% unemployment, NZers agree on the whole that we should have a 'stocktake' of what we have in dem dere hills.
But doing a 'stocktake' to gain a value of what we have is several thousand light years away from accepting open pit mining on sensitive conservation land. This is what National are starting to find which is why they are frantically trying to hide their report on Mining as they work out what to do (part of their report was released to the media last week and has ignited a witch hunt by the Government with them gagging DOC talking to the grand old dame of the environmental movement - the Royal Forest and Bird society).
National are starting to realize that while NZers would like a stocktake, they sure as hell don't want the actual mining itself and despite National's argument that we already allow 80 odd mines on Crown land now, their claim misses the fact that the majority of minerals being sought currently under these new schemes are in low scattered quantities meaning open pit mining is the only profitable means of extraction.
National can yell 'environmental surgical mining' as much as they like, the reality is an open pit mine doesn't con anyone just like 'scientific whaling' doesn't.
The most important part of the spin line from National is the supposed $140 billion dollars worth of wealth we supposedly have under the ground, and in this claim there seems to be nothing more than lies taped together with bullshit.
The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell has sunk deep into the $140 billion claim and that it comes from mining lobbyist Richard Barker.
To date, the media has relied on an estimate of $140 billion for the minerals potentially up for grabs – a figure derived from a March 2008 paper by the Auckland consulting geologist Richard Barker.
So the man charged with trying to convince the Government to mine on conservation land has come up with a $140 billion pot of gold over the mining rainbow, how did he get that figure? Astoundingly, he calls it a ballpark figure - how big a ball park? When NZIER did the same research as Barker, they only came up with $85 Billion, Idiot Savant picks up the point on other surveys which showed even lower valuations...
Combining the two - minerals plus non-renewable energy resources - gives a total figure (for 2000) of NZ$3,683.2 million. Quite a difference from $140 billion, isn't it?
...so we have $3, 683.2 million from one valuation, $85 billion from NZIER and $140 billion from the mining lobbyist. Note: none of this takes into account that the ACTUAL amount NZers will gain will be nowhere near as high as any of these valuations, our laws are written for the Mining Industry, we get a fraction of the mineral wealth asserted to exist AND get the environmental fallout as well.
So the $140 billion valuation is a lie, it's an attempt to keep NZers on side while National try and find a way to spin this. My guess is that they will 'find' minerals under an important National symbol, John Key will do an angry press conference demanding the National symbol be protected and while the media focus on him planting a tree at a press op, Gerry will quietly allow mining companies in through the back door.
We have built a clean green brand right when the Planet is choking on its own filth, to damage that brand for mythical riches sold to us by a mining lobbyist sounds more like the mono-rail episode from the Simpsons than a wise economic decision.
NO to mining in conservation land. No if's, no buts, the promised wealth is a joke which if we fall for, will only serve to damage our international image for very little jobs and money.