North Australia Digest – 5/11/2012

by 5 November 2012

Australian Financial Review

The federal government’s energy white paper is expected to push benefits of more deregulation and privatisation of the energy supply industry by state governments. Robert Pritchard, executive director of the Energy Policy Institute, expects the white paper ‘will be much more explicit about the supply and demand problem in relation to domestic natural gas’.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said a Greens call to renegotiate the mining tax would [...]

North Australia Digest – 2/11/2012

by 2 November 2012

Australian Financial Review

The Gillard government has overestimated Chinese demand for coal and iron, warns economist and Labor government advisor Ross Garnaut. Furthermore, the forecasts in the Asian Century white paper ‘really duck the issue’ by having low, medium and high scenarios on commodities ‘so wide apart that it doesn’t say anything’.

Iron ore prices will drop over the longer term, according to BHP chief executive for aluminium, nickel and corporate development Alberto [...]

North Australia Digest – 31/10/2012

by 31 October 2012

Australian Financial Review

The Queensland and West Australian economies are stagnating due to a lack of labour. Dr Susanne Bahn, Edith Cowan University academic, says not enough skilled workers are migrating across from the southern states due to the ‘perceived high cost of living, but we’ve found in the mining sector that’s not so true because of the high income you get’.

The West Australian government has set a precedent by denying any [...]

North Australia Digest – 30/10/12

by 30 October 2012

The Australian

Chinese interest in Australian miners continues amid slumping prices and high costs. Endocoal chief executive, Tim Hedley, says that companies face ‘an increasingly challenging operating environment, given recent global financial uncertainty’.

By 2014, most mining investment projects will be completed and there will be very few additional projects for the rest of the decade. Unfortunately, Wayne Swan and the Treasury fail to understand this downward trend in mining investments and expected profits [...]

North Australia Digest – 29/10/2012

by 29 October 2012

Australian Financial Review

While the Asia Century White Paper has placed a large emphasis on developing Darwin as a regional hub for a significant number of goods and services, Australian Agricultural chief executive, David Farley has warned ‘they are nice words, they just have to be able to do it’.

Jennifer Hewett writes that the Asian Century White Paper has idealised objectives of supplying iron ore, liquefied natural gas and high quality food [...]

North Australia Digest – 26/10/12

by 26 October 2012

The Australian

Although the mining tax will not raise any revenue, Australia’s junior iron ore sector will still have spent millions of dollars in compliance costs just to confirm they do not have to pay. Atlas Iron managing director Ken Brisden said they had already spent roughly $2 million only to find out they will not have to make any payments for the new tax.

BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers told shareholders yesterday that [...]

North Australia Digest – 25/10/12

by 25 October 2012

The Australian

The government’s new mining tax raised zero revenue in its first three months. Price cuts, the high dollar and falling profits, mostly due to lower commodity prices, have drastically reduced mining companies’ tax contributions.

Rio Tinto are set to review alumina operations in a remote Northern Territory mining community, which could see 1400 jobs at risk.

Australian Financial Review

BHP Billiton has decided to sell its West Australian uranium deposit [...]

North Australia Digest – 24/10/12

by 24 October 2012

The Australian

Queensland mining companies believe Premier Campbell Newman’s decision to overturn the 23-year ban on uranium mining indicates the industry is ‘becoming normalised’ and opens up huge opportunities for the state’s economy.

Julia Gillard announced yesterday that developing a national soil health strategy would be a top priority for her government. Such a strategy will be vital as farmers are being asked to double food and fibre production by 2050.

Ferngroves Wines [...]

North Australia Digest – 23/10/12

by 23 October 2012

The Australian

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has decided to lift the ban on uranium mining in Queensland, unlocking a huge opportunity to recommence development of the resource in the state. This comes 30 years after the state’s last mine closed and could see development worth up to $18 billion. Newman says the change was prompted by Julia Gillard’s visit to India, where she discussed uranium exports with the country.

The Commonwealth now expects [...]

North Australia Digest – 22/10/12

by 22 October 2012

The Australian

Deloitte Access Economics director Chris Richardson says that it may have been wise for the government to delay the release of MYEFO in order to assess the first mining tax instalments. Richardson says the slowdown in demand from China and low commodity prices will affect the mining tax, but the treasury is still applying its latest estimates of where commodity prices are going to be to pre-budget estimates of how much the [...]