North Australia Digest – 30/11/2012

by 30 November 2012

The Australian 

BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser has told shareholders that global economic problems will take time to be resolved and warned China’s growth was slowing. Speaking at BHP’s annual meeting, Mr Nasser said despite the bleak short term outlook, further urbanisation and industrialisation in China would support growth in demand for commodities.

Rio Tinto is set to cut US$7 billion from its cost base over the next two years with Australian [...]

North Australia Digest – 29/11/2012

by 29 November 2012

The Australian

Australia’s rising costs in coal production, driven by the carbon and mining taxes and state royalty hikes have been a major boost for coal producers in the United States, according to American coal giant Alpha Natural Resources.  The group’s vice-president of investor relations, Todd Allen told a conference in the US that Australia, long thought to be at the low end of production costs for metallurgical coal – used in steelmaking – [...]

North Australia Project – 28/11/2012

by 28 November 2012

The Australian

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has axed funding for a scheme that provides legal representation for Native Title claims to pastoralists. The plan has attracted the ire of groups including the NT Cattlemen’s Association, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA and AgForce Queensland, who believe the cessation of funding will mean native title claims will end up in protracted court cases instead of being settled by consent.

WA premier Colin Barnett has [...]

North Australia Digest – 27/11/2012

by 27 November 2012

The Australian Financial Review

Australia could underachieve in the Asian century due to high costs and falling productivity according to Ian Bauert, the head of Rio Tinto’s China operations. As Chevron said more than $100 billion in LNG investments in Australia “hang in the balance”, Mr Bauert said Australia had become the miner’s most expensive place to do business after being the cheapest five years ago.

The Queensland government has called for expressions of [...]

North Australia Digest – 26/11/2012

by 26 November 2012

The Australian 

Despite generating more than $100 billion a year in revenue and inspiring tens of billions of dollars in new investment, West Australia’s resources sector is experiencing mounting pressure from rising costs, new taxes and wobbly demand forecasts.           

West Australia’s major iron ore miners have remained bullish despite being at the mercy of commodity prices and Chinese demand. Atlas’s managing director Ken Brinsden says “[t]here has been volatility and [...]

North Australia Digest – 23/11/2012

by 23 November 2012

The Australian

Shanghai Zhongfu president Wu Pui Ngai is poised to pour $700 million into Australia’s remote East Kimberley to grow sugar and has hit back at critics worried that he does not have deep-enough pockets.

Mrs Gina Rinehart has launched her new book North Australia and then some, and spoke with passion about developing northern Australia via irrigation: “food is going to be a great need for the world, especially for our [...]

North Australia Digest – 22/11/2012

by 22 November 2012

The Australian

Alcoa Australia managing director Alan Cransberg recently backed calls from others in the industry for the nation to make more of its vast gas reserves, rather than exporting them all as LNG. “If we want to be a country with a diversified economy, then we have to have energy.”

In Alan Cransberg’s recent report on the aluminium industry he observes that the carbon and mining taxes (which the industry fears the [...]

Speech – On Mr. Lang Hancock – by Senator Cory Bernadi to Australian Senate

by 21 November 2012

This Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of Mr Lang Hancock’s famous flight during which he discovered enormous iron ore deposits in Western Australia. It also marks the start of a shining example of entrepreneurship and private enterprise in Australia’s history. In 1952, on a flight with his wife to Perth, Lang Hancock was forced to fly low to avoid storm clouds. In doing so, he flew low enough to spot iron ore deposits in a nearby gorge. After further investigation and a number of visits [...]

North Australia Digest – 21/11/2012

by 21 November 2012

The Australian

The Chinese Development company that has won the rights to develop stage two of the Ord River project, Shanghai Zhongfu, will inject $700 million to develop a giant new irrigated sugarcane region. As part of the plan a $425m sugar mill will be built, providing an estimated 400 jobs during its construction and another 400 jobs once operational.

A $1.4 billion tourism development has been approved at Ella Bay in Far [...]

North Australia Digest – 20/11/2012

by 20 November 2012

The Australian Financial Review

International energy experts are the latest group to warn that high costs are putting at risk $150 billion in future LNG investments in Australia. The calls echo concerns raised by local gas producers including Santos and Woodside Petroleum that investment in the sector will dry up amid increased competition from overseas.

Santos has made a significant gas find and bought into an exploration licence at the Browse Basin of [...]