North Australia Digest – 7/11/12

Australian Financial Review
Former V-P regional development of Oyu Tolgoi, David Paterson says the Asian White Century report tells a compelling story about the economic opportunities for Australian companies from the growing demand for minerals: ‘In addition to growing demand for mineral products in Asia, mineral production in Asia will rise…there is significant potential for increased mineral extraction in the future’.
The Australian
Julia Gillard is staring down heightened pressure to ban live animal exports. In a meeting with her Pakistani counterpart, the Prime Minister said ‘Australian’s are distressed to see these acts of cruelty and that I (want) the matter investigated’.
The federal government has been told to ‘back away’ from controversial proposed world heritage listings for parts of the Cape York peninsula. Aurukun Mayor, Dereck Walpo says, ‘They need to back away, they need to give us funding to do our own consultation, and at this point in time we don’t want any part of it (a listing)’.
The CFMEU has vowed to disrupt operations at Rio Tinto’ Blair Athol mine in central Queensland.
Politicians fail to recognise the seriousness of the problems faced by Queensland miners, writes Robert Gottliebsen. ‘Queensland Premier Campbell Newman recently increased royalties on coal because Newman believed (incorrectly) that the industry was earning big profits. The coal problems come on top of the harmful effects the high dollar is having’.
Sydney Morning Herald
Central Petroleum will spend $60 million drilling 10 new oil and gas wells in the Amadeus and Southern Georgina basins in Northern Australia, a move that will boost jobs and wealth in the regions.
The West Australian
The West Australian also reports on the increased pressure on Julia Gillard to cease live exports to Pakistan.
Labour costs in WA’s mining industry remain high, despite commodity price falls and a slowdown in the sector, according to US-based giant Newmont Mining. ‘Clearly we’ve seen a pullback there in Western Australia, particularly as it was probably the hottest region around the world. We have not seen the slowdown impact…yet’. (No Link).
Courier Mail
Engineering company Monadelhous Group has been awarded a $100 million contract to construct a coal handling plant for the Caval Ridge Mine Project. The agreement will bring numerous jobs to the area.