North Australia Digest – 18/01/2013

by 18 January 2013

The Australian

The future of the world’s third largest miner was being questioned by global investors yesterday as Rio Tinto announced a $US14 billion write-down of its aluminium and coal assets. As a result of the announcement, the board felt chief executive Tom Albanese could no longer keep his position. Sam Walshe, was announced as the new chief executive after driving the spectacular growth of Rio’s Pilbara iron ore operations since 2004.

Business [...]

North Australia Digest – 17/01/2013

by 17 January 2013

The Australian

A Gillard government plan aimed at saving struggling local industries could see major resources and infrastructure companies forced to prove they spend heavily with local manufacturers. Union leaders have led the call to mandate local content.  However, the resources sector has hit back at the union campaign at a time of growing industry warnings over poor competitiveness, including Chevron’s announcement of a $9 billion blowout at its Gorgon project because of the [...]

North Australia Digest – 16/01/2013

by 16 January 2013

The Australian

Rio Tinto has flagged more job cuts at Australian coalmines as depressed prices and high cost make continued cost cutting necessary. The big miner is expected to log its worst half year profit in three years next month. Rio chief Tom Albanese said the business was performing well despite volatile markets, but a cost-cutting program that began last year would continue. “Across the group we are taking action to roll back unsustainable [...]

North Australia Digest – 21/12/2012

by 15 January 2013

The Australian Financial Review

Federal Labour MP Andrew Leigh’s comments predicting a rise in commodity prices could drive the federal budget in to surplus have been rejected by WA Premier Colin Barnett. Mr Barnett said the resource rich state could not support the entire economy, despite an 80 per cent rise in iron ore prices since last year. “Let’s go back a little bit. September, October, the federal government was running around, including Wayne [...]

North Australia Digest – 14/01/2013

by 14 January 2013

The Australian

A recent surge in iron ore prices has not been enough to lift profits beyond levels needed to trigger the mining tax, meaning that for the second straight quarter revenue from the controversial impost will remain at zero. BHP Biliton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and Fortescue Metals have all confirmed they will make no payment when due next week. The developments are likely to renew the political fight over the design of the [...]

North Australia Digest – 11/01/2013

by 11 January 2013

The Australian

Key economic figures show the Chinese economy is recovering at a rate exceeding market expectations.  China’s trade surplus rose sharply last month, with export growth more than quadrupling from November, to 14.1 per cent, while imports rose by 6 per cent in a sign of increasing domestic demand. The figures add to the evidence that Australia’s largest trading partner – and key buyer of iron ore and coal – is emerging [...]

North Australia Digest – 10/01/2013

by 10 January 2013

Here is a digest of the major stories that have impacted Northern Australia over the past three weeks.

The Australian

A major new survey commissioned by SBS shows most Australians believe the mining industry saved the economy during the global financial crisis and has even played a role in shaping the national identity. Despite this, many of those questioned felt foreign investment and the use of overseas workers should be limited. (02/01/13)

Rio Tinto [...]