Mining & Resources


Rinehart reduces ministers to minions

Rinehart shuns publicity but the very public stoush with her children has left the public agog at the power she is able to wield.

Adele Ferguson 4:37 PM   The messy entanglement of the federal government is just one of many fascinating consequences in this landmark case that has reverberated through some of the nation's biggest companies and wealthiest households.


Rinehart's biggest challenge yet to come

Australia's richest person, Gina Rinehart has been in a bitter four-year dispute with her children that was resolved on Thursday when the NSW Supreme Court ruled that her oldest daughter Bianca take control of the family’s $5 billion trust fund.

James Thomson   While the Rinehart/Hancock family battles over the keys to this still massive fortune, Gina Rinehart has another concern – getting her Roy Hill mine up and running in a market where prices are falling, oversupply threatens and little guys are getting squeezed badly.

Wealthy Chinese heading abroad to buy diamonds

China has been the main engine of demand growth for the diamond industry, with sales expected to double in the next decade, according to Bain & Co.

Sonja Elmquist   Wealthy Chinese who made their country the world's second-biggest market for diamonds are increasingly travelling abroad to buy the stones.

How long will Rinehart be Australia's richest?

2015 is shaping up as a watershed year for Gina Rinehart.

Adele Ferguson   If the fight with two of her four children goes the wrong way, Gina Rinehart could fall out of the billionaire ranks altogether. And this could be the year it happens.

The $9b waste that is Australia's solar industry

It's argued Australia should have taken a more industrial approach to solar power instead of pushing household subsidies.

Brian Robins   It's been dubbed 'middle class welfare' of the first order.

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Gina Rinehart loses control of $5b family trust

Whatever happens, an appeal or a settlement, 2015 is shaping up as a watershed year for Gina Rinehart.

Louise Hall   John Hancock, the estranged son of Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart, has won an epic legal battle over control of the family's multibillion-dollar family trust, with his sister and ally Bianca Rinehart appointed trustee.

Queries for Independence over Sirius merger price

Independence Group CEO Peter Bradford.

Tess Ingram   Independence Group boss Peter Bradford has conceded some of the miner's investors have voiced concerns about how much it has agreed to pay for nickel hopeful Sirius Resources, after news of the deal initiated a slump in the miner's share price this week.

Coal headwinds tipped to drive down prices

Thermal coal demand in China, the US and Europe is expected to drop, but India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines would be key drivers.

Stephen Cauchi   The forecast price of coal – one of Australia's biggest mineral exports – has been slashed by CitiGroup, which expects it to face stiff headwinds in the coming years.

No Reservoir Dog: ALS boss says $580m buy OK long term

The boss of ALS has reinforced he has no regrets about having Reservoir Group in his stable for the long term.

Simon Evans   The boss of laboratory testing and mining services group ALS says in hindsight, his timing was way off in the $580 million purchase of oil and gas specialist Reservoir Group in 2013. ALS has tumbled to a big loss on a $291 million write-down after paying too much for Reservoir at a time when oil prices were booming.

Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments

Coal on the nose of the Norwegians.

Saleha Mohsin and Mikael Holter   Norway's parliament reached an agreement to ban the country's $US890 billion ($1.15 trillion) sovereign wealth from investing in companies that base at least 30 per cent of their business on coal or revenue from the fuel.

China willing to back high cost Fortescue

Fortescue is changing to a two-week on, one-week off roster from a current schedule of eight days on, six days off in WA.

Perry Williams   Fortescue Metals Group is under pressure to line up an equity investment from China because its high production costs and looming debt repayments will become an increasing burden as steel demand slackens later this decade, according to an influential Chinese government official.

Glencore keeps word, cools coal output

As part of his drive to slash Australian coal output Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg is cutting 80 jobs at Collinsville - a quarter of the workforce.

Amanda Saunders   Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg is making good on his promise to slash Australian coal output by 15 per cent this year as part of a superior "market management" pitch against his iron ore rivals, with the axe to fall on 2 million tonnes of planned production and about a quarter of the workforce at loss-making Queensland coal mine Collinsville.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto can capture 70pc of iron ore export market: Citi

Iron ore has gained more than 29 per cent since early April when it was trading as low as $US47.08.

Tess Ingram   Within a decade BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto could together produce more than 900 million tonnes of iron ore which will meet about 70 per cent of demand for seaborne iron ore, according to analysis from Citi.

Turn out the lights as commodity spending boom ends


David Stringer   Australia, one of the engine rooms of the decade-long global commodity boom, is forecasting a staggering 90 percent plunge in spending on projects, calling time on its biggest resources bonanza since the 1850s gold rush.

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Bond investors shun BHP Billiton

The coal sector is facing a major dilemma.

Benjamin Purvis and David Stringer   BHP Billiton's strategy of focusing on its most profitable operations has got no love in the bond market as the less diversified company is seen as more vulnerable to a global resources rout.

Gina Rinehart named Australia's most powerful woman

Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine is a more pressing challenge than her court fights.

James Thomson   A crash in the iron ore price and the sale of her main media assets has not stopped billionaire Gina Rinehart grabbing a spot on Forbes Magazine's list of the world's most powerful women.

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US coal shares tumble to record lows after job cuts, restructuring speculation

Coal's investment appeal is on the wane.

Tim Loh   ​US coal stocks were among the biggest losers in New York after the protracted slump in demand for the fossil fuel led to a rash of layoffs last week.

Fortescue's secret Singapore trading shell

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest has described BHP and Rio's Singapore marketing hubs as a "tax shelter" and spoken proudly about Fortescue's tax payments in Australia.

Amanda Saunders   Fortescue Metals Group established a company in Singapore that could buy and sell its iron ore more than a year before it started attacking its rivals for doing the same thing.

FMG shares soar on FIRB speculation

China consumes more than 60 per cent of the world's iron ore production.

Peter Ker   Fortescue shares rose sharply on the back of reports it had discussed a recapitalisation with Chinese steel giants Baosteel and Citic

Buy now, build tomorrow: why Baosteel wants FMG

Baosteel might reason that buying more of Fortescue is a better bet than building a mine.

Peter Ker   Chinese steel giant Baosteel may find Fortescue Metals Group an attractive alternative to its increasingly marginal West Pilbara project

Premier, Treasurer refuse to rule out gas talks with Theophanous

Theophanous.  Theo Theophanous announces he will not contest the next election after the rape charge against him was thrown out.  Melbourne Age. news. Photo by Angela Wylie. July 27 2009.

Peter Ker   Former energy minister Theo Theophanous is working as a political advisor to an oil and gas company that wants onshore gas drilling allowed in Victoria.

Fortescue shares soar 15pc on China rumours

Andrew Forrest, major shareholder of Fortescue Metal Group. The company's share have soared.

James Thomson   Shares in Fortescue Metals Group have surged 15 per cent in early trade on Tuesday after the company was revealed to be in discussions with a number of Chinese groups about a potential investment.

Nationals want ban on CSG in the Northern Rivers

NSW National MPs want the party to change its policy and support a ban on coal seam gas extraction in the Northern Rivers region.

Anne Davies   Several NSW National MPs want the Baird Government to change its policy and support a ban on coal seam gas for the Northern Rivers region to reflect strong opposition in their communities.

Fortescue in sights of Chinese investors

Fortescue Metals Group chief Andrew Forrest may confront Chinese suitors for his company.

Chinese-linked companies have applied to the Foreign Investment Review Board seeking permission for an investment involving Fortescue Metals Group.

Creasy's wealth rises $630m on planned mining merger

Millionaire prospector Mark Creasy's wealth has surged on the Independence Group-Sirius merger.

Brian Robins   A little over 20 years after selling two gold deposits for $123 million, the worth of the British-born mining engineer Mark Creasy rose $630 million Monday.

Evolution digs in to buy Barrick's Cowal mine

Evolution has described the latest deal as "truly transformational".

Peter Ker   The acquisition of Barrick's Cowal mine is expected to make Evolution the second-largest gold producer on the ASX.

Why Roger Montgomery won't invest in mining

Montgomery Investment Management will not be snapping up any mining stocks during the dip.

Rose Powell   Mining stocks have been on the up, but it's unlikely Roger Montgomery's funds will invest in the sector again.

Oz Minerals eyes at least four takeover targets

Oz Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole ... the company operates just one mine, the Prominent Hill copper and gold mine in South Australia.

Simon Evans   OZ Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole says the copper and gold company has four potential acquisitions it is doing due diligence on, and argues Evolution Mining paid a steep price for Barrick's Cowal mine.

Obeid sons and businessmen accused of 'cartel conduct'

Moses Obeid, Eddie Obeid's middle son.

Kate McClymont   Moses Obeid and his brother Paul, along with prominent businessman John McGuigan, his son James and investment banker Richard Poole are being prosecuted for allegedly rigging the bid for a tender of coal exploration licences in the Bylong Valley, near Mudgee.

Protectionism threatens local steel makers

A flood of excess steel in Asia could hurt Australian manufacturers.

Tim Binsted   A surge in trade protectionism in the US and Europe is threatening to push more steel into South East Asia and increase margin pressure on already stretched Australian producers.