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Mining & Resources

BC Iron boss Morgan Ball says iron ore will recover

Amanda Saunders 5:10pm BC Iron managing director Morgan Ball is confident the iron ore price will remain between $US90 and $US110 a tonne for the next 18 months, but longer-term he tips the supply surge by the majors will constrain it to between $US85 and US$95 a tonne.

Hunter community loses bid to block Yancoal expansion

Ashton Coal mine.

PETER HANNAM 9:33pm A Hunter Valley community has lost its legal challenge to a major open-cut coal mine expansion by Chinese-controlled miner Yancoal.

Energy

Chevron's Gorgon the latest LNG mega-project hit by US-fuelled gas boom

Chevrons' Gorgon gas project has been hit by cheaper competitors.

12:13pm A flood of cheap gas from the US is playing havoc Australia's expensive mega-projects, with Chevron's Gorgon plant the latest to be hit as buyers hold out for cheaper deals.

Mining

BC Iron's operating cash flow to plunge, Citi says

Lower production and higher costs will hurt BC Iron's operating cash flow, the broker says.

Amanda Saunders 5:17pm Weak Chinese property sector sends iron ore to two-year low BC Iron will generate just $38 million in operating cash flow this financial year, a dramatic fall from the $155 million posted in financial 2014, according to CitiGroup.

Mining

Glencore, Chinese in talks for Nickel West

Two suitors are lining up for the Nickel West operation.

Amanda Saunders 1:04am Two front-runners have emerged in the contest for Nickel West, with vendor BHP Billiton in advanced talks with China's largest nickel refiner Jinchuan Group and commodities trading giant Glencore.

Analysts disappointed by 'modest' Senex outlook

Angela Macdonald-Smith Cooper Basin oil and gas player Senex Energy has disappointed the market with its outlook for production this coming financial year, but managing director Ian Davies has forecast production could more than triple by 2017-18.

Energy

Canberra willing to back missing gas pipeline link

The Moomba gas processing plant in South Australia could be key to national network plans.

James Massola, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Brian Robins The federal government may be requested to help underwrite the investment risk of the proposed $1.3 billion gas link which could see gas flow from northern Australia to NSW to help stave off any supply shortfalls with the start of gas exports from eastern Australia.

Demerger

BHP split divides investors

BHP is likely to delay new capital initiatives until 2015

Perry Williams BHP Billiton’s decision to restructure into two companies and delay a buyback has split growth-hungry investors.

Contractor

Boart warns of risks to financial survival

BRIAN ROBINS As Rupert Murdoch demonstrated when News Corp faced financial oblivion in the early 1990's: if you owe the bank $100, that's your problem, but owe it $100 million, then it is your bank's problem.

Mining

Iron ore slips below $US90 mark as China concerns weigh

Iron ore measured out of the Tianjin port in China is now trading down more than 32 per cent for the year.

MAX MASON The vice grip of oversupply and high cash costs will be pressuring Australia’s iron ore miners, as the metal’s price drifts lower and margins evaporate.

Newcastle coal port bidder accused of treating pollution limits as 'optional'

More trackwork is on the horizon if Newcastle expands its coal port.

PETER HANNAM The main proponent of a major expansion of Newcastle’s coal exports has breached its pollution licence conditions 75 times in the past three years, according to documents obtained by the Nature Conservation Council.

Outgoing UGL chief Richard Leupen tips engineering shake-out

Outgoing UGL managing director Richard Leupen.

Jenny Wiggins UGL‘s outgoing chief executive, Richard Leupen, has forecast “significant” consolidation in the engineering sector as the contractor nears completion of the $1.2 billion sale of its DTZ property arm.

Call for Sydney University to dump Whitehaven after share buying halted

Protesters near the Maules Creek mine earlier this year.

PETER HANNAM Greenpeace is calling on the University to Sydney to dump its shares in coal miner Whitehaven after the institution decided to halt further stock purchases while an investment review is underway.

Resources

UGL opts for capital return over dividend as profit misses the mark

Outgoing UGL managing director Richard Leupen.

Jenny Wiggins UGL will make a capital return to shareholders after completing the sale of its DTZ property arm but will not pay a final dividend despite underlying net profits rising 22 per cent to $111.7 million.

Results

Caltex jobs cuts part of revamp aimed at raising millions

Caltex's net income for the first half slid 17 per cent to $163 million.

Angela Macdonald-Smith Caltex Australia will axe 350 jobs and revamp fuels purchasing to reap $100 million a year of benefits within two years as it capitalises on its transformation under chief executive Julian Segal.

Resources

BlueScope Steel narrows loss but misses forecasts

BlueScope Steel reported a 10 per cent lift in revenue to $7.98 billion for the year.

SALLY ROSE Australia’s biggest steelmaker, BlueScope Steel, has missed consensus analyst expectations for revenue and reported a bigger loss than predicted in the financial year ended June 30.

Nostalgia aside, the old BHP doesn't exist

The BHP that existed before Brian Gilbertson and Billiton arrived has long since ceased to exist, argues Michael Pascoe.

MICHAEL PASCOE It has been an easy and tempting line: the restructuring of BHP Billiton announced this week was something of a demerger of the old BHP and old Billiton. 

Resources

Santos ups dividend as LNG pays off

The lift in the interim payout to 20ยข per share came despite a 24 per cent drop in first-half net profit to $206 million.

Angela Macdonald-Smith Santos shareholders are starting to see the benefits of the company's push into liquefied natural gas expansion, with a 33 per cent increase in the first-half dividend after the early start-up of the $US19 billion ($20.4 billion) PNG LNG venture.

Mining

Ex-BHP chair Don Argus calls $16b demerger 'inspired'

Amanda Saunders Don Argus said the mining giant's controversial decision to spin off a $US15 billionresources company will create value in a suite of assets overlooked by the market.

Logistics

Asciano sees bright days ahead despite profit dip

Asciano told investors earlier this year it would increase group cost cuts to $300 million from $150 million by fiscal 2018 and merge its coal haulage and freight rail businesses to boost profits.

Jenny Wiggins Asciano forecast stronger growth in fiscal 2015 and said talks over a sale of a minority interest in Patrick ports continued to “progress” as the logistics group’s annual net profit dropped 24 per cent to $257 million from the year-earlier $336.8 million.

Ex BHP chairman says cycles move and he’s a happy shareholder

Happy shareholder and former BHP chair Jerry Lewis says they needed the cash flow boost from the 2001 Billiton merger.

Simon Evans Jerry Ellis led the miner during one of its darkest periods. He maintains the 2001 merger was a good move.

Mining

Glencore starts $1 billion buyback as CEO says boom not over

Jesse Riseborough Glencore's billionaire chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg underscored his belief in the longevity of the global commodities boom by beating his biggest rivals in handing out surplus cash to investors.

Rio Tinto 'workshopped' Warkworth coal plan with Planning Department, Greens say

PETER HANNAM Mining company Rio Tinto was able to respond within days of receiving environmental requirements for its Warkworth coalmine expansion plan because of "workshopping" with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, according to Greens MP David Shoebridge.

Woodside looking for acquisitions including Apache's Wheatstone stake

Angela Macdonald-Smith Woodside Petroleum has sharpened its appetite for acquisitions, with chief executive Peter Coleman hinting that Apache’s stake in the $29 billion Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia is on the list of potential targets.

Energy

AGL bets on coal with MacGen buy

AGL expects improvement in wholesale power prices.

BRIAN ROBINS Energy utility AGL will pay the NSW government $1.5 billion for Macquarie Generation.

BHP Billiton will not use demerger cash for acquisitions, says Andrew Mackenzie

BHP

Amanda Saunders Despite BHP Billiton’s controversial $US15 billion ($16 billion) spin-off freeing up cash flow for the mining company, chief executive Andrew Mackenzie says acquisitions are not on the cards and the miner will instead concentrate on executing the cheapest possible expansions of its ''four pillar'' commodities.

BHP demerger faces hurdles

BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie: Vote looms on demerger.

PETER KER BHP Billiton’s plan to spin out a group of non-core assets is far from a fait accompli, with a top 10ten shareholder refusing to guarantee his support and legal experts warning that demerger relief from the Tax Office was far from assured.

Fortescue Metals eyes further debt cuts as profits soar

BRIAN ROBINS Fortescue Metals is predicting iron ore prices will head upwards again despite market expectations of prolonged weakness.

Mining

BHP Billiton shares slump on demerger, results

bhp

Perry Williams BHP Billiton’s Australian shares fell by over 4 per cent in early trading, mirroring a similarly steep fall in London overnight, as investors reacted negatively to a controversial $14 billion demerger plan and the lack of a mooted $3 billion buyback.

Mining

Fortescue reports record net high profit

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest. The company's net debt position has improved by $US3.3 billion.

Fortescue's report reveals record high net profit and follows a record operational performance with 124.2 million tonnes shipped, a 54 per cent increase.

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