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Mining & Resources


What’s next for OPEC? The five concerns for oil markets next year

Isaac Arnsdorf The oil price decline of 2014 upended the geopolitical chessboard. Who can recover and dominate the market in 2015 - OPEC, Vladimir Putin or the US shale drillers?

Poison fruit at Gina Rinehart's mine 'isolated incident', police finds

Roy Hill will be the crowning jewel in Mrs Rinehart's mining empire.

MAX MASON Western Australia police have concluded their enquiries at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine, in the state's Pilbara region, relating to a piece of poisoned fruit found on site.


Australia slashes iron ore price forecast by 33%

On the road to nowhere?Iron ore is headed for the biggest annual loss in at least five years as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Group and Vale have expanded output,

Australia has slashed its price forecast for iron ore in 2015 by a third to $US63 a tonne from $US94 in September, saying expectations of a drop in Chinese output to counter a mounting global supply glut had yet to occur.


Atlas Iron announces $900 million of write-downs

Atlas Iron ore

Angela Macdonald-Smith Struggling iron ore junior Atlas Iron has advised it will take up to $900 million of write-downs in the first half of the 2015 financial year after the slump in commodity prices that has undermined the value of its operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.


Iron ore prices head for a five-year low

The Coalition's policies have effectively made Australia more dependent on China, argues William Pesek.

Iron ore has sunk to the lowest level since 2009 as supply exceeds demand and China, the biggest user, contends with its weakest expansion in almost a quarter century.


Oil prices down despite gains

Ali al-Naimi has said it was not in the interest of OPEC to cut oil production.

Barani Krishnan Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday after Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said OPEC would not cut production at any price.


Weak coal market leaves Cobbora in NSW state hands


Angela Macdonald-Smith The weak coal market has put paid to the NSW government’s hopes of finding a buyer for its Cobbora coal resource in the state’s central west, with a revived sale process for the project failing to result in a deal.


Iron ore price estimate cut 33%

Iron ore.

Phoebe Sedgman Australia cut its iron ore price estimate for next year by 33 per cent as surging output in the world’s top exporter outpaces Chinese demand growth, adding to a glut.


Oil jumps 5% for second time in week

Oil prices have jumped sharply.

Oil prices jumped more than 5 per cent on Friday for a second time in a week as short-covering alleviated pressure.

Glencore buying Rio Tinto could burn hole in Hockey's pocket

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

MICHAEL WEST A Glencore merger with Rio Tinto would be damaging for Australia and ought to be, and very likely will be, knocked on the head by the Foreign Investment Review Board.


Oil rout may trigger takeover wave in energy sector

Oil and gas producers are becoming increasingly stretched as the oil plunge continues.

Perry Williams Collapsing oil prices below $US60 a barrel may trigger largescale corporate consolidation not seen since the late 1990s as international oil companies scramble to generate enough cash to cover their spending commitments.


Hot dog prices more stable than oil for Shell

Hot dogs are big business - at least in Norway, where some of Shell's service stations sell more than 1000 hot dogs a day.

The price of oil may be disappointing to Royal Dutch Shell’s top executives, but their hot dogs and coffee are doing just fine - prompting the energy giant to step up an expansion of its petrol station stores.


Putin says Russian economy must brace for $US40-a-barrel oil

Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow.

Jake Rudnitsky The Russian economy must adapt to the reality of oil prices that could fall as low as $US40 a barrel, President Vladimir Putin said as he faces the worst financial crisis since coming to power in 2000.


$1b loan gives Santos room to move

Santas CFO Andrew Seaton says the loan aids the company's liquidity profile.

Angela Macdonald-Smith Santos has given itself more room on its funding capacity, taking out a new $1 billion loan facility with ANZ Bank.


Yancoal to get debt injection before covenants bite


PETER KER Yancoal's major shareholder will lend more money to the struggling coal miner despite the Takeovers Panel rendering the offer less attractive.


ITAC Services likely to avoid liquidation

ITAC Services specialises in the mobilisation of gas drilling equipment.

Angela Macdonald-Smith The administrators of failed drill-rig mover ITAC Services have voiced confidence in selling the company as a going concern.

Rio Tinto's biodiversity plan for Warkworth mine approved despite internal concerns

Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

PETER HANNAM Environment officials raised concerns about planned expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth coalmine.


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

A contractor working at Gina Rinehart's mine site noticed an “unusual discoloration” inside a piece of fruit from the dining hall.

James Thomson 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 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 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.

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