North Australia Digest – 11/10/12

by 11 October 2012

We’d love to know what you think about today’s major stories that impact North Australia:

The Australian

Julia Gillard is set to take part in top-levels talks in New Delhi next week that could pave the way for negotiations on a treaty to open up uranium sales to India.

The chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board says the body is trying to “dial down the tension” as proposed sales of Australian assets to Asian buyers continue to stir controversy.

A senior Royal Dutch Shell executive has done little to dampen growing speculation that the company will push its revolutionary floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology as a solution to the ongoing controversy over the $US45 billion Browse project in Western Australia.

Mining contractor Calibre Group will spend more than $90 million on its seventh acquisition in two years, as the company continues to lessen its reliance on new mining construction projects.

Australian Financial Review

Fang Xing-Hai, Shanghai’s top finance official thinks Australia can be an “intermediator” between China and other countries in a range of areas. Above all, he thinks there is tremendous scope for Australian government and business to transfer knowledge to China across a range of industries.

Clough chief executive Kevin Gallagher has blamed over-ambitious tendering among engineering companies for some of the difficulties in the sector, arguing they should have taken on fewer contracts and better anticipated the slump in market ­conditions.

The federal government has heavily censored documents detailing Alcoa’s lobbying efforts to secure a $42 million taxpayer bailout of its Point Henry aluminium smelter.

Indian infrastructure conglomerate GVK will go ahead with plans to raise $6 billion in financing after receiving federal government approval for a port in Queensland.

The Greens have sought to amend government legislation linking the carbon scheme to Europe to require the Productivity Commission to immediately review assistance for coal-fired generators.

China is experiencing a spate of uneconomic iron ore production that would have been unthinkable three years ago. Its iron ore production is being curtailed by market forces such as falling prices.

West Australian

The State Government is sweating on a recovery in the property market to arrest its financial slide, after Treasurer Troy Buswell warned yesterday that volatile iron ore prices and royalty revenue meant a Budget deficit could not be ruled out.

A fresh Chinese takeover for rare earths miner Lynas Corp would likely fail, after the head of the Foreign Investment Review Board said one of its prime concerns in examining investment in Australia’s resources sector was market concentration.

Green groups have promised to fight the start of uranium mining in WA to the bitter end after Environment Minister Bill Marmion approved Toro Energy’s Wiluna project yesterday.

Herald Sun

The Australian market looks set to open lower following losses on Wall Street with investors cautious after Alcoa said China’s economic slowdown was hitting aluminum consumption and Chevron slashed its earnings outlook.

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