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Mining & Resources

Anti-CSG groups says use of radioactive materials should be disclosed

PETER HANNAM Anti-coal seam gas groups say AGL, Santos and the NSW Environment Protection Authority are keeping communities in the dark over the use of highly radioactive material in Gloucester and the Pilliga.

Resources

Alkane Resources tips share rerating on approval of $1 billion rare earths project

Key product prices are expected to rise.

BRIAN ROBINS 2:25pm The mining and exploration company has launched detailed engineering studies as it awaits a green light for a new project near Dubbo.

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest spends $11 million on Fortescue shares

Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest bought $11 million worth of shares in his Fortescue Metals Group when their value hit a five-year low this week.

Gina Rinehart pushes forward on iron ore exports despite BHP seeing end of an era

Jasmine Ng and David Stringer Gina Rinehart, Asia's richest woman, is set to start exports in September from her new $10 billion iron ore mine undeterred by prices trading near five-year lows and forecast to extend losses next year.

Energy

Shareholders strike out at remuneration as commodity boom fades

Fortescue is

PETER KER Shareholders say remuneration is out of sync with sliding commodity prices.

Mining

Port Hedland engineers accept pay deal, cancel strike

A tugboat pulls a ship at Port Hedland. Tug engineers have called off their strike.

Tug engineers withdrew plans to strike at Port Hedland, the nation's biggest iron ore port, tug operator Teekay Shipping said late Thursday, removing a threat to exports from BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals.

BHP board mulls mitigation as prices plummet

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus

ELIZABETH KNIGHT The BHP Billiton board has a tough job on its hands, ensuring the company remains prosperous despite the fact the prices of three of the major commodities that underpin its profit performance are in free-fall.

Mining

Mineral Resources considers putting mines in mothballs

Iron ore mining.

Tess Ingram The iron ore price crunch could force Mineral Resources to put its mines on care and maintenance, managing director Chris Ellison says.

BHP struggling over coal demerger plans

Big plans: Jac Nasser says scale is the key to demerger plan.

PETER KER Chairman Jac Nasser has sought to clarify why the coal division was split across BHP and the demerger

Mining

Iron ore's tumble begets takeover targets

Heading to oblivion? Very few miners can make money selling iron ore at current prices, while smaller players struggle.

Today's plunge in iron ore is creating tomorrow's acquisition targets. With prices at a five-year low, only a handful of companies worldwide can make money, while others fight for survival.

Mining

Outgoing CSIRO chief Megan Clark AC joins Rio Tinto board

Dr Clark has also worked for Western Mining Corporation, BHP Billiton and sat on a local advisory board for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

PETER KER Megan Clark AC becomes the second Australian appointed to the board this year

Mining

BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie says Olympic Dam trial showing promise

PETER KER Any development of the legendary mine in the South Australian outback will be in phases, says the BHP boss.

Resources

Iron ore slump halves Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's fortune

“I didn’t count it on the way up and I’m not counting it now,”: Andrew Forrest.

Julie-Anne Sprague, James Thomson and Jonathan Shapiro The plunging iron ore price is wreaking havoc on Andrew Forrest’s personal fortune, which has more than halved to just $2.8 billion and puts him outside of the top 10 richest people in Australia for the first time since 2006.

Pay

Kerry Stokes' Seven receives first strike on executive pay

Kerry Stokes, who holds a 69 per cent stake in Seven Group, is unable to vote on executive pay.

Drew Cratchley Shareholders of Kerry Stokes' Seven Group have delivered a first strike against the company's remuneration report, which included a package worth $5.5 million for chief executive Don Voelte in his first year.

Kinghorn play for Mineral Hill goldmine in doubt

Gold

BRIAN ROBINS Kidman Resources' shadow-boxing tactics to seek control of KBL Mining are now out in the open as Kidman pushes for a board spill that would give it control of the Mineral Hill gold-copper mine in western NSW.

Mining

Miners' $US120 billion iron ore bet sours as China growth slows

While the emergence of over 140 cities with more than 1 million people helped to more than triple Chinese steel output in the 10 years to 2013, there's a question mark over the pace of growth in the future.

Chinese President Xi Jinping obviously wasn't speaking for the world's iron-ore producers when he pronounced this month that the risks from his country's slowing growth "aren't that scary." The world's mining giants have wagered $US120 billion ($138 billion) that steel production in China won't peak until as late as 2030.

Mining

National Stock Exchange of India quizzes Adani on loan for Galilee Basin coal project

An opposition party in India has described the State Bank of India's loan to Adani as

Amanda Saunders Indian conglomerate Adani has been questioned by the National Stock Exchange of India over claims that the State Bank of India has extended it a $US1 billion ($1.1 billion) credit line to fund its mega coal project in Queensland.

CSG study finds elevated methane levels near gas fields

Fresh clouds over CSG industry: A Santos employee near Narrabri in northern NSW.

PETER HANNAM Methane levels near coal seam gas fields in Australia have been found to be as much as triple normal levels, raising renewed doubts about the global-warming benefits of using the gas compared with other energy sources.

Mining

Orica sells chemical business to Blackstone in $750 million deal

Road tankers wait to be filled at Orica's chlor-alkali plant: The business is part of the sale.

Tim Binsted and Sarah Thompson Orica has agreed to sell its chemicals business to funds advised by US private equity firm Blackstone Group for $750 million as it seeks to become a pure-play mining company.

China needs to cap coal use by 2020 to meet climate goals: think tank

China's urban pollution is one prompt for curbing coal use.

China needs to hit its "peak coal" use by 2020 if it is to fulfil its commitment to end growth in climate-warming carbon emissions by the end of the next decade, an influential government think tank said on Tuesday.

Energy

Australian uranium shipments planned for 2015 as India ramps up nuclear power

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Brisbane Airport to attend the G20 summit.

The uranium industry is hoping to make trial shipments to India next year as the nation makes plans to move to 25 per cent nuclear power by 2050.

Iron ore

Rio Tinto gets green light for iron ore mine in Pilbara

Crying foul: The approval for the new Rio Tinto mine comes amid claims Rio and BHP are deliberately forcing prices down by ramping up production.

Tess Ingram Rio Tinto has been given approval for a new 70 million tonne a year iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

Fuel demand to plummet, says Citi

Australia - a major exporter of both metallurgical and thermal coal - wouldsuffer from the reduced demand for coal.

STEPHEN CAUCHI Even without last week's historic climate change deal between China and the US, oil and coal demand is set to plummet over the next few decades, according to research from Citi.

Resources

AGL Energy names Aes Corp's Andrew Vesey as CEO

Andrew Vesey will join AGL on January 12 and take over from Michael Fraser after the half-year results on February 11.

Angela Macdonald-Smith AGL Energy has surprised the market by naming AES Corporation chief operating officer Andrew Vesey as its new chief executive, replacing Michael Fraser who is stepping down next year.

Gardens of Stone mine: call for government to protect unique rock formations

Pagoda formation near the Coalpac mine.

PETER HANNAM Green groups have called on the Baird government to expand its protection of unique pagoda rock formations in the Blue Mountains after a regional coal miner went into liquidation.

Mining

Rich-listers bleed as iron ore prices sink Western Desert Resources

Amanda Saunders Macquarie Bank and one of Australia's wealthiest families, the Wagners, are among the biggest creditors of ­collapsed iron ore junior Western Desert Resources.

Wise investment or fossil fools? Queensland backs coal as G20 moves the game on

Campbell Newman says coal remains vital to the future of the Queensland economy.

MICHAEL WEST If you joined the dots you’d conclude that taxpayers are going to subsidise Queensland’s Galilee Basin coal project, despite the G20 calls to end subsidies, low coal prices and some dubious economics.

Mining

India may provide up to $US1b loan for Adani Australia coal mine

The state government insists Queensland coal will play a major role in the world's energy requirements for many more years.

Adani Enterprises won support on Monday from the Indian government and an Australian state to help it build a $US7 billion coal mine, rail and port project.

Glencore closes mines over Christmas after price slump

Glencore owns 13 coal mines in NSW and Queensland.

BRIAN ROBINS The unprecedented decision by Swiss-based commodity trader Glencore to shut down its Australian coal mines for several weeks next month has thrown into into disarray the year-end plans of thousands of its employees as the struggling miner halts production to stem mounting losses.

Mining

Glencore closes coalmines for Christmas due to supply glut

Glencore owns 13 coal mines in NSW and Queensland.

BRIAN ROBINS Caving in to the mounting pressure due to weak prices, the largest local producer of steaming coal, Glencore, is to halt production at all of its Australian mines for three weeks from mid-December, affecting 8600 employees.

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