North Australia Digest – 18/10/12

The Australian
As BHP and Rio Tinto are set to be the only two resource companies making payments to the new mining tax on Monday, BHP executive Marius Kloppers says future mining growth must be driven by improved productivity as well as decreased tax and regulatory burdens.
In a separate article, Marius Kloppers weighs in on the future of coking coal, saying Queensland’s vast resource base will not be enough to secure its own future if “[t]he heavy cost of taxes, royalties, declining productivity and a strong Australian dollar” continues. Subsequently, further investment in these operations will be far less attractive.
Julia Gillard’s visit to India focused on forging closer defence ties with the world’s biggest democracy. The ties would hopefully secure maritime routes and build further co-operation across the region, effectively safeguarding uranium export as well as other bilateral business opportunities.
The Australian Financial Review
The Financial review reports on BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers statements that the government must work together with resource enterprise to recover Australia’s levels of attractiveness to investors, saying the next round of minerals investments in Australia will only be captured if costs are decreased and productivity improved. He says the carbon tax, state royalties and overlapping regulatory processes are making large-scale project-development in Australia too costly.
Julia Gillard praised India’s shift from agriculture to a more services based economy, saying the change marks an under-appreciated opportunity for Australian companies to establish further relationships.
GVK Group vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy praised Australia’s project approval system as construction contracts for the new Abbott Point coal mine in Queensland were announced.
The number of contractors in the mining industry is falling as future business begins to dry up in the tightening resources sector.
The Age
The increasing cost of operations as a result of the carbon tax is being felt through the closure of several coal-fired stations across Australia.
The Courier Mail
The Courier Mail reports that Queensland is unlikely to get any more major mining investment until the costs of labour, taxes, royalties and the value of the Australian dollar falls.
The West Australian
The West Australian also reports on Marius Kloppers’ warning to improve overall cost efficiency and productivity in the face of rising costs and moderating commodity prices as our China-based resource cycle has hit its peak.

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