Atlas takes a blow, China sticks ore in
ATLAS Iron has borne the brunt of a bad day for Australia's iron ore exporters, with delays to infrastructure planning and signs that China is considering tax breaks for its iron ore sector.
Shares in Atlas fell by 5 per cent on Wednesday, after confirmation that an investigation into a railway solution for the company's growth assets was months behind schedule. The delay was confirmed by Atlas' partner in the study, QR National, which said the study would now push into the first half of 2013, rather than this year's target. The new railway is also an important option for Brockman Mining to get its iron ore to port.
The news was compounded by reports that China was poised to halve its tax on iron ore producers.
High-cost Chinese iron ore producers are widely credited with holding the benchmark iron ore price up to about $US120 a tonne, and tax cuts could see that ''floor'' fall lower.