Mining & Resources


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 8:27 PM   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 6:32 PM   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 4:27 PM   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 4:09 PM   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 money lavished on BHP's  iron ore, petroleum and copper assets wasn't spent on the small and maligned collection of mines that constitute South32.

Benjamin Purvis and David Stringer 10:07 AM   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 is Australia's most powerful woman, according to Forbes.

James Thomson 9:33 AM   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 8:19 AM   ​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 6:21 AM   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

There are suggestions several foreign entities have lobbed corporate proposals to Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board  that would affect mining companies.

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.

Anything but coal: the most popular energy sources in Australia

Site manager Nick Wain at the Royalla Solar Farm, near Canberra.

Peter Hannam   Solar energy is the most popular source of electricity in Australia with more than three times the backing of coal-fired or nuclear power, a survey by Ipsos has found.

Independence pays $1.8 billion for Sirius

Industry minister Ian Macfarlane says the resources industry is built on foreign money.

Peter Ker and Jake Mitchell   Base Metals miner Independence has paid $1.8 billion for the nickel assets of Sirius Resources

Origin to see special dividend payout from NZ's Contact Energy

Origin's majority-owned New Zealand subsidiary Contact Energy will pay a special dividend after failing to find suitable investment opportunities.

Angela Macdonald-Smith   Origin Energy is set to enjoy some relief to its stretched balance sheet after its majority owned New Zealand subsidiary Contact Energy declared it would return $NZ367 million to shareholders after failing to find suitable growth opportunities in renewable energy.

France's biggest insurer Axa axes coal investments

Axa loses its appetite for coal.

Tara Patel and Fabio Benedetti-Valentini   ​France's largest insurer will scrap holdings in coal companies because of concerns about climate change, broadening support for the fossil-fuel divestment movement to a major mainstream investor.

Fortescue mum as foreign vultures circle Australian iron ore

Iron ore has jumped.

Jessica Gardner   Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has refused to comment on whether it is a primary target of foreign buyers said to be eyeing Australian iron ore miners.

GRAM ready to fund PanAust's Frieda River copper mine study

PanAust suitor Guangdong Rising Asset Management has secured funding to complete a feasibility study into the Frieda River project in Papua New Guinea.

Peter Ker   The Chinese company behind the $1.4 billion takeover of PanAust Limited is set to move quickly on the copper miner's prize asset, with a preliminary funding deal for the Frieda River project set to be announced as early as Monday.

Billions wasted on solar subsidy: report

Billions wasted on solar panels.

Brian Robins   It ranks among the worst government decisions of all time, with as much as $9 billion of the estimated $14 billion spent installing rooftop solar systems over the part few years wasted.

Mining bust taking a toll on Minerals Council

Dreams of owning a goldmine might be more achievable than you think.

Peter Ker   The once mighty Minerals Council of Australia has cut membership fees for cash-starved miners twice in past 18 months, in moves that are exacerbating a sharp revenue slide at the traditionally powerful lobby group

Oil's whodunit: Why millions of barrels are about to vanish

High stakes: More than half of the proved reserves of oil and natural gas liquids is from wells that don't exist yet.

Asjylyn Loder   Millions of barrels of untapped oil that US shale drillers discovered during the boom years are about to disappear - at least from their papers.

Forrest takes a black eye, but vows to punch on

Some believe Andrew Forrest's limitless energy is better deployed inside the Fortescue tent, where survival is far from assured.

Peter Ker and Ky Chow   Accepting defeat does not come easily to Andrew Forrest, nor Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.