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Mining & Resources


Poisoned fruit triggers security alarm at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine

James Thomson 9:07am Executives at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine in Western Australia have asked the police to investigate an attempted poisoning at the mine’s construction site in the Pilbara.

New York state to ban fracking, Governor Andrew Cuomo says

Despite widespread fracking in the US, the process remains controversial.

Thomas Kaplan and Jesse Mckinley 9:05am Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York state because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.


Weakening pillars struggle to support BHP demerger strategy

 *****************1ST USE AFR********************
back of truck / red dirt

PETER KER 12:15am Sliding prices for BHP's prime commodities are challenging the case for the "South32" demerger.


Woodside Petroleum eyes new buys after Apache deal


Angela Macdonald-Smith Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman is eyeing more potential acquisitions in the depressed oil and gas sector after striking a $US3.75 billion ($4.56 billion) deal to buy for Apache's stakes in two LNG projects and a Western Australian oil field that will add future as well as immediate production.

Orica strike - mines affected as 130 truck drivers, explosives handlers grind to a halt


ANNA PATTY Hunter Valley mines were affected when truck drivers and explosives handlers went on strike for four hours on Tuesday, in protest against what they say is a cut in their wages and conditions.


Woodside buys $4.6 billion Apache gas stakes

The acquisition of the stake in Chevron’s $35 billion Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia is set to increase Woodside’s production.

Angela Macdonald-Smith Woodside Petroleum has agreed to pay about $US3.75 billion ($4.6 billion) for Apache’s stakes in two liquefied natural gas projects in Australia and Canada.


Timing 'bad' For BHP demerger

BHP spin off could be bad timing

PETER KER Analysts have warned that BHP may struggle to cover its dividend and spending commitments if it goes ahead with a plan to spin out profitable assets


Oil plunge - what happens next?

Oil prices have fallen after OPEC cut its forecast on 2015 demand.

Mike Daly The OPEC aristocrats of oil build up their barricades against the arriviste revolutionaries of shale.


Takeovers Panel rebuffs Yancoal rights issue

Yancoal, which has seven mines in Australia, is trying to raise $US2.3 billion to repay a mounting debt owed to its major shareholder.

PETER KER Troubled miner Yancoal will not be able to push ahead with a controversial $2.3 billion rights offer as planned, after the Takeovers Panel ruled in favour of concerned minority shareholders.


OPEC chief says group will ride out price fall

OPEC boss Abdullah al-Badri with Emirati officials during the Arab Strategy Forum during the opening day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the weekend.

Oil producers group OPEC can ride out a slump in oil prices and keep output unchanged, its head said on Sunday, arguing market weakness did not reflect supply and demand fundamentals and could have been driven by speculators.


Newcrest unveils super-low-cost gold project at Wafi-Golpu

Newcrest chief executive Sandeep Biswas.

PETER KER The gold miner says it has found a cheaper way to build the highly prospective Wafi-Golpu mine in Papua New Guinea

Rio Tinto linked to collusion on Warkworth coalmine

A Rio Tinto coal truck in the Hunter Valley.

PETER HANNAM The NSW government has been accused of working in “partnership” with mining giant Rio Tinto to circumvent court rejections of a coal mining expansion project in the Hunter Valley.

BHP to lose iron grip on Port Hedland tugs

Tug-o-war: A Teekay boat at Port Hedland.

PETER KER Despite introducing a second tugboat provider, BHP Billiton's exclusive hold on tugboat licences in Port Hedland is set to be broken In 2015.

Glencore's Tony Hayward will speak in Melbourne this week as expectations of a second merger bid grow

Rio coal truck in the Hunter Valley.

PETER KER Tony Hayward will address a gathering of company directors in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Grasstree Mine operations suspended after miner's death

generic mining

Dominick Czakilew Operations at Anglo American's Grasstree Mine have been suspended until further notice after the second fatal accident at the site this year.


Santos dive prompts takeover talk

The Papua New Guinea oil and gas scene is hotting up.

Angela Macdonald-Smith The dive in Santos's share price to 10-year lows has turned market attention to the assets the oil and gas producer may consider for sale, as well as whether the whole company could turn into a target for a larger player.


Iron ore won't reach $US100 per tonne again, says BHP Billiton

Iron ore prices have probably peaked, says BHP Billiton.

PHILIP WEN Mining giant BHP Billiton says iron ore prices are unlikely to eclipse $US100 a tonne again, with expectations of steel consumption growth in China slowing further next year.


Leighton sells John Holland in $1.15b deal

State-owned China Communications Construction Company has bought John Holland.

Jenny Wiggins, Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald Leighton Holdings has announced the sale of its John Holland business to China Communications Construction Company for about $1.15 billion.

As Japan burns more coal, climate policies come under pressure

Japan's domestic energy woes have sparked international criticism.

Once at the forefront of the fight again global warming, Japan is now facing calls from other big economies such as China to set fresh emissions targets as Tokyo increases its use of dirty coal energy to replace nuclear.

Australian coalminers returning to profitability, but for how long?

Turnaround: Things are looking up for coalminers on the back of plummeting oil prices and a weaker Australian dollar.

PETER KER The cost of producing coal in Australia has fallen sharply in recent months, but views are mixed over whether prices will improve in 2015.


There's more to oil prices than just supply and demand

Many factors feed into the oil rout, which triggered another sell-off on the New York Stock Exchange and other bourses this week.

Chris Tomlinson Central bank policy, currency exchange rates and market speculators: These are just a few of the factors that help determine the price of oil. Yet no matter how you slice the data, low oil prices are with us for a while.


More WA mining jobs go as BC Iron plans to cut staff amid weak prices

The price of iron ore has slumped this year.

Tess Ingram BC Iron will cut staff at its Nullagine mine in Western Australia and head office as it reduces costs amid weak iron ore prices.


Saudi oil minister: "Why should we cut production?"

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi:

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi on Wednesday shrugged off suggestions that the world's biggest crude exporter might cut production to reverse the deepest price slump in years, saying the kingdom's output had remained steady through last month.

Australia could supply uranium, coal to Ukraine

Mr Poroshenko and Mr Abbott at the service.

David Wroe, Michael Gordon Australia could supply uranium and coal to Ukraine in a move that would lessen the eastern European nation's dependence on gas from its neighbour and adversary Russia.


Caltex flags profit jump as oil plunge boosts margins

Prices at the bowser have not fallen as fast as crude, lifting Caltex's gross profit from turning crude oil into petrol and diesel.

Angela Macdonald-Smith The slump in crude oil prices is set to contribute to a lift in Caltex Australia’s profit this year, which the fuels supplier has flagged may increase by as much as 42 per cent.


Power plants mothballed as electricity demand dips

Climate goals will remain a challenge, post-carbon tax.

Angela Macdonald-Smith The soft wholesale electricity market is triggering the shutdown of more ­generating capacity, with AGL Energy advising it will mothball the older part of its Torrens Island gas-fired power plant in South Australia in 2017.


Santos's best option is equity raising, analysts say

oil/gas rig pix from santos 
these are new pics.
'Jackup drill rig over John Brookes wellhead, Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia
Santos Limited today announced that it has contracted to supply gas to another major new Australian power station.

santos oil rig sunset

Angela Macdonald-Smith Santos might be better off biting the bullet and carrying out an equity raising to provide funding for growth projects, rather than facing a future of depleting resources and production, some analysts say.

Whitehaven Coal cops 'paltry' fine for exceeding coal limit

Profitable breach: The Boggabri coalmine in northern NSW where Whitehaven Coal produced excess coal that could earn it about $10 million.

PETER HANNAM The trivial fine Whitehaven Coal must pay for exceeding its coalmining licence incentivises the company to keep on mining, Greens NSW mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham says.


APA secures $6 billion pipeline

Managing director Mick McCormack says the pipeline further enhances APA's position.

Angela Macdonald-Smith, Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald The APA Group has sealed its largest acquisition, agreeing to pay $6 billion for the gas pipeline built as part of BG Group's liquefied natural gas project in Queensland.


Iron ore price casts shadow on Downer EDI contract


Jenny Wiggins Sliding iron ore prices are rattling some of Downer EDI's investors amid concerns over the contractor's exposure to the iron ore market though a $3 billion contract for Fortescue Metals Group.

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