Mining & Resources


Local iron ore juniors under pressure

The Fortescue Solomon iron ore mine in Western Australia's Pilbara region.  Analysts expect iron ore to sell for $US52.16 a tonne in 2015.

Tess Ingram 12:59 AM   Australia's iron ore junior producers have worked hard to cut costs in the face of the plummeting price, but will it be enough?

Flinders Mines shareholders voice concerns over Todd option agreement

Flinders Mines shareholders want certainty, says FMS United.

Tess Ingram 12:15 AM   A group of Flinders Mines shareholders is rallying against the option New Zealand's Todd Corporation wants to purchase over the company's flagship iron ore project, ahead of an expected vote on the option agreement in August.

Adani hires political operatives to make its case

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.

Lisa Cox   The Indian mining company behind Australia's largest new coal development has hired influential figures from both sides of politics to convince governments of the benefits of its mine in Queensland.

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Employers scanning their workers' minds

The growing use of SmartCap comes as 'wearable technology' becomes increasingly popular in the retail space, with items like Fitbit allowing users to measure their heart rate, movement and sleep quality.

Peter Ker   Data from caps worn by workers is used to alert them when they are likely to fall asleep.

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Anglo American facing China coal rejection

China's new testing regime for imported coal has already forced one shipment to be sent back to Australia.

Philip Wen   Anglo American's coal mines in the Hunter Valley produced the coal that was turned back from Chinese ports earlier this year, say Chinese sources.

Coal waste clean-up of river to take 'many weeks', EPA says

Polluted gully downstream of the Clarence colliery.

Peter Hannam   The collapse of a wall of coal waste at the Clarence Colliery into part of the Wollangambe River is expected to take "many weeks" to clean up, the NSW Environment Protection Agency said.

Fortescue headed towards marginal producer status

Analysts say Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals is at risk of becoming 'the most significant size marginal player'.

Amanda Saunders   Fortescue Metals Group could become the marginal producer among the big miners after Brazil's Vale brings its new mega expansion online next year.

Iron ore plunges 6% as Aussie exports surge

The surge in cargoes from Australia and from Brazil, which reported that June's shipments were the highest this year, may hurt prices that rallied in the second quarter.

Iron ore exports from Port Hedland have climbed to an all-time high, helping to drive down the price of iron ore.

Probe into coal mine over waste spill into Wollangambe River

The Wollangambe River in the Blue Mountians.

Peter Hannam   A spill of coal waste and water has affected the Wollangambe River.

Rio boss says women need more confidence

"You do need to recognise that gentlemen do stretch the facts a little bit."

Belinda Tasker   Women just aren't confident enough in the workplace when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder, the mining chief says.

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US giant raises bid for Four Mile uranium mine

US nuclear giant General Atomics has lifted a buyout bid for the rest of the Four Mile uranium mine to $71.3 million.

Simon Evans   United States nuclear giant General Atomics has lifted a buyout bid for the 25 per cent of the Four Mile uranium mine in northern South Australia that it doesn't already own. It has resulted in shares in Alliance Resources rocketing by almost 50 per cent after the $71 million offer was lobbed.

Rio Tinto chief hits out at critics

"There also seems to be a view that you can talk markets into submission or bend reality to suit your will.": Rio Tinto boss Sam Walsh.

Jesse Riseborough   The chief executive officer of Rio Tinto Group rejected criticism of the biggest mining companies for the oversupply that's put iron ore producers from Australia to Sierra Leone out of business.

China rejects Australian coal over quality

Australia's coal sector is concerned that China's quality testing is being misused to favour its own struggling coal industry.

Amanda Saunders   China has been rejecting Australian coal cargos that don't pass new import quality restrictions, and the local industry is concerned that the testing is being misused to favour China's struggling coal industry.

Queensland Labor backs Adani coal project

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt says doubts raised over Adani's mega-mine relate to the previous administration.

Lisa Cox   The department led by Queensland's former deputy premier Jeff Seeney pushed a proposal to help fund Australia's largest coal project, freezing the departments of the Premier and Treasurer out of the process.

Sundance Resources offloads infrastructure piece of $US4.6bn project

The Cameroon government will seek to finance and build the infrastructure for Sundance Resources' flagship iron ore project.

Tess Ingram   The multi-billion rail and port component of Sundance Resources' $US4.6 billion Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project has been offloaded to the Cameroon government, leaving the company to focus on swiftly securing about $US1 billion to bankroll the iron ore development.

Are you Sirius? Aussies win the battle for the potashes in North York Moors National Park


Colin Kruger   Forget the Ashes. Australia has already scored a big win in the unlikely setting of England's picturesque North York Moors National Park.

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NSW extends CSG buyback: 'multiple' parties interested

Anti-CSG activists outside AGL's Sydney annual general meeting in October 2014.

Peter Hannam   The Baird government has extended its plan to buy back exploration licences for coal seam gas, prompting calls for AGL to ditch its permit for the Sydney region.

China, Brazil move climate talks into fast lane with pledges

The year-end climate summit gathers some more momentum.

Alex Nussbaum   The push for a global deal on climate change picks up speed from Latin America to Asia, with the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitter and the steward of its largest rainforest pledging new measures to curb warming.

Vale extends slide as outlook for iron ore remains bleak

Commodity companies account for about a quarter of the Ibovespa.

Denyse Godoy   Vale, the world's largest iron-ore miner, sank to a two-month low after the steelmaking ingredient tumbled on concern supplies are too high.

Adani's 'miracle' mine is unbankable says Queensland Treasury

Prime Minister Tony Abbott with mining magnate Gautum Adani in Delhi, India.

Lisa Cox   Australia's largest new coal project, one hailed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a poverty-busting "miracle", is unbankable in the assessment of Queensland's Treasury.

Glencore designs on Rio coal face X2 snag

Rio Tinto is hoping to reap more than $U3 billion in a sale of its Hunter Valley coal business, with X2 chief Mick Davis likely to face off with his arch rival and the man many see as the natural owner of the assets, Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg.

Amanda Saunders   Rio Tinto is hoping to reap more than $U3 billion in a sale of its Hunter Valley coal business, with X2 chief Mick Davis likely to face off with his arch rival and the man many see as the natural owner of the assets, Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg.

Treasury doubts over Adani mine revealed

Documents show officials at Queensland Treasury held grave doubts about Adani's capacity to see through its Carmichael coal mine project.

Lisa Cox   Documents show Queensland Treasury held grave doubts about Indian mining company Adani's capacity to see through its Carmichael coal mine project in central Queensland.

Australia cuts 2015 iron ore forecast by 10pc

Analysts blame negative sentiment on a massive increase in production, and overestimates of China's appetite for imported ore by sector titans Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Stephen Cauchi   Australia has cut its price forecast for iron ore in 2015 by 10 per cent to $US54.40 a tonne, citing a weak outlook for the commodity's main market, China's steel sector

Exploration 'zombies' on the rise as cash dries up for miners

Ninety-five listed exploration juniors stopped exploring in the March quarter as cash reserves dried up.

Tess Ingram   One in five listed junior explorers is not actively exploring because of a cash squeeze on the mining sector that has forced companies into indefinite hibernation.

De Lacy saddened by fall of Peabody Energy

Former Macarthur Coal chairman Keith De Lacy admits Peabody Energy bought the company right at the top of the mining boom.

Perry Williams   Former Macarthur Coal chairman Keith De Lacy has admitted US miner Peabody Energy "overpaid" for control of the company in 2011.

Gold Road pursuing own path to Gruyere

Gold Road, which has a market value of $274 million, has been identified as a takeover target due to the size of its flagship 5.5 million ounce Gruyere deposit.

Tess Ingram   Gold Road Resources chairman Ian Murray says it is too soon for the feverish string of merger and acquisition activity in the gold sector to scoop up the company, despite the explorer being touted as one of the sector's most appealing targets.

US Supreme Court blocks Obama's limits on power plants

President Barack Obama suffers a defeat in the courts.

ADAM LIPTAK and CORAL DAVENPORT   The US Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration's most ambitious environmental initiatives: an Environmental Protection Agency regulation meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

Springvale mine expansion gets PAC nod despite concerns

Lake Burragorang, behind Warragamba Dam, Sydney's main reservoir.

Peter Hannam   The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has given conditional approval for the proposed extension of the underground Springvale coal mine despite concerns from government agencies that the expansion will affect Sydney's water quality.

Iron seen below $US40 as Capital Economics flags 'sharp move'

While iron ore is poised to cap the first quarterly climb since 2013 on Tuesday, Capital Economics' outlook adds to bearish forecasts from Goldman Sachs Group to Citigroup that the advance won't last.

Jasmine Ng   Iron ore may tumble into the $US30s a metric ton in the second half as surging low-cost supplies from the world's biggest producers swamp the market, expanding a glut, according to Capital Economics.

Gold surges on safe-haven demand

"Gold has an opportunity under these circumstances to reassert its role as a safe haven and we should see the metal being bought," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Copenhagen-based Saxo Bank.

Phoebe Sedgman and Eddie van der Walt   Gold surged with silver as Greece shut banks and imposed capital controls, boosting demand for haven assets amid concern the country's euro membership is in jeopardy.