News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s wrap: Yancoal site visit; Fortescue slams China snub; and unions query mining jobs for US workers.
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Moolarben coal, image courtesy of Yancoal Australia.

Lou Caruana

Yancoal site visit

Yancoal Australia hopes a site visit by analysts, brokers and fund managers to its four mines in NSW and Queensland will help drum up investor interest in the Chinese-owned entity soon to be listed via a merger with Gloucester Coal, the AFR reports.

They made their first stop yesterday at the Moolarben mine in the Upper Hunter Valley, the flagship project of Felix Resources before its purchase by Yancoal in 2009, which will be the largest producer in the merged group.

Merrill Lynch said they were told the thermal coal mine had impressively low free on board costs of $40.60 a tonne last year, which compares to the recently settled benchmark price of $US115.20 a tonne and Gloucester Coal’s recent cost FOB profile of $111/t.

Fortescue slams China snub

Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Neville Power has criticised federal and state governments for not sending ministers to China’s biggest economic and business gathering at a time when its relations with Australia are under pressure, the AFR reports.

“Ultimately it is about developing close relationships that will improve the investment flow both ways,” Power said. “I think it’s disappointing that there isn’t anyone [from government] here.”

Unions query mining jobs for US workers

Unions have questioned a plan by Julia Gillard to protect the booming mining industry from a labour shortfall by encouraging skilled American construction workers to migrate to Australia on temporary visas, The Australian reports.

ACTU president Ged Kearney declared the move was premature, despite it being widely welcomed by business groups as an effective way to fill skills gaps in construction and engineering as the demand for workers is expected to peak in 2014-15.