Australian Mining

One of the main reasons why Australia is surviving in the financial turmoil is because of our mining industry. It is literally shoring up the economy. We are being subjected to all sorts of advertising from political parties at the moment. The carbon tax debate is also raging hot, Australia has one of the biggest per capita carbon emissions, because our primary industry is – mining.

Aside from the political parties spending money to convince us that a carbon tax is a good / bad idea, Australian mining companies are spending money to tell us that mining is a very good idea. They’ve got adverts running telling us ‘Our Story’, individuals are telling us what mining means to them, how they are supporting Australia. Take the diamond miner, from a mine that produces rare pink diamonds. From every 4 Olympic sized swimming pools of rock they crush, they get 1/2 a bucket of diamonds, within that 1/2 a teaspoon are pink diamonds. Each 1 carat of ‘high quality’ pink diamond, can sell for an excess of $1m. Apparently we should be proud that we are producing this product.

An Olympic sized pool is 88,000 cubic foot of volume, times that by 4 is an awful lot of rock to pulverise into submission for a 1/2 teaspoon.

Or this screen grab:

This is to show us how wonderfully efficiently rock is being moved around the country on railways. Aside from thank goodness they’re using railways, it is the devastation they’re doing to the country that I find so shocking. That’s all I can think about when I watch these adverts.

Here is our problem, ‘Our story’ is that we’re blasting, digging, excavating raw materials out the land, putting it onto boats, sending it to China, for inferior products to come back to Australia, that get brought at bargain basement prices, because God-forbid we pay the true value for something. When we tire of something, we throw it away.

The beginning of September brings our annual hard rubbish collection. We are going to go through our garage to put out in front of our house white goods, gardening refuse, old paint cans and so on. While rummaging through other people’s trash is illegal, it still goes on. The remainder? Some will be recycled, the rest will be placed into landfill.

Somehow I don’t think crushing and panning any amount of cheap clothes, plastic pots or discarded electrical items will make pink diamonds in future. And don’t get me started on the plight of traditional owners of the land; who are being routinely ignored when they try to make claims against the mining companies who wheel out lawyer after lawyer to avoid paying anywhere near the compensation for raping the land that people have walked on for generations.

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