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International Update Volume 47, Issue 13

PHILIPPINES BANS NEW OPEN-PIT METAL MINES

Phillipines

Phillipines Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Regina Lopez, announced that new open-pit metal mining would be banned because of evidence of injury to communities and water supplies, and findings of rampant violations of environmental law. The ban extends to new open-pit gold, copper, nickel, and silver mines. The order to prevent new open-pit mines does not affect quarries and the country’s sole open-pit coal mine. Lopez says her mining orders are meant to prevent any more damage from big new mines.

NORWAY AND AUSTRALIA COMPETE TO BE JAPAN’S HYDROGEN SUPPLIER

Japan

Hoping to fulfill Japan’s vision of being the first nation to be fueled by super-clean energy, Norway and Australia are racing to supply Japan with hydrogen. Currently, Australia has a plan to derive liquid hydrogen from brown coal, but Norway’s new pilot program to produce clean energy may be cheaper. Japan’s annual hydrogen and fuel cell market is forecast to hit 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) in 2030 and 8 trillion yen in 2050, according to the industry ministry.

CHINA IN TALKS TO ESTABLISH MOON COLONY

China

China and the European Space Agency are discussing a potential collaboration on a human outpost on the moon and other possible joint endeavors. The secretary general for China's space agency, Tian Yulong, first disclosed the talks about the envisioned lunar base in Chinese state media. Last week the China National Space Administration launched an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to dock with its currently unoccupied space station.