News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s wrap: Adani denies visa breaches; Henry asks if mining tax is “worth it”; global carbon trading best, say experts; and Rio and BHP to face up to commodity price falls.
News Wrap News Wrap News Wrap News Wrap News Wrap

The Carmichael project, map courtesy of Adani Mining.

Lou Caruana

Adani denies visa breaches

The boss of Indian conglomerate Adani Group’s international business has rejected claims the company broke immigration regulations in bringing in foreign workers for its $10 billion Carmichael coal project in Central Queensland, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Harsh Mishra, who is also running the Australian operations until they find a permanent replacement for former chief executive Jignesh Derasari, who resigned in May, has also conceded not all coal projects in the frontier Galilee Basin will proceed.

He said the falling price of coal, the carbon and mining taxes, higher labour costs and the strong Australian dollar would work against some proponents in the Galilee Basin.

But Mishra said he believed the Adani project, which was aiming to export 60 million tonnes of coal by 2020, had a competitive advantage over rivals because it had a fully integrated business from the mine through to the Abbot Point coal terminal to power stations in India.

Henry asks if mining tax is ‘worth it’

The head of the Labor government’s sweeping review of the tax system, Ken Henry, has queried whether the compromises made on the minerals resource rent tax made the entire tax worthwhile, as he pushed the case for reform of road charging and the corporate rate, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Henry, now an adviser to the Office of the Prime Minister and a former Treasury secretary, expressed regret that the 30% MRRT on iron ore and coal was no simpler than the 40% resource super-profits tax on most minerals he originally proposed.

“The obvious question I dare not ask is whether it was worth it .â€Ã¢€Â°.â€Ã¢€Â°. I dare not even think about the question,” he told a forum at the Australian National University in Canberra.

“There is no way the public can understand what has been legislated.â€Ã¢€Â°It’s actually more complicated than what was originally proposed.”

Global carbon trading best, say experts

The Australian government should end the fixed-price phase of the new carbon price earlier and move quickly to a price set by fully open global trading, emissions trading specialists say, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Dirk Forrister and Emile Abdurahman argue that Australia’s initial fixed carbon price of $23 a tonne, and planned floor price of $15 from 2015, is a national rather than global response to the objective of mitigating harmful climate change.

Forrister, chief executive of the International Emissions Trading Association, and Abdurahman, executive director, Morgan Stanley Commodities, say global trading would align Australia’s comparative advantage in fossil fuels internationally.

“Enabling emissions reductions through international units will provide headroom for economic growth and align Australia’s emissions cost structure with our international trading partners,’’ they say.

“Why not accelerate the move to international markets, where prices are now below $10 a tonne.”

Rio and BHP face price hit as commodity prices fall

Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are set to report healthy quarterly production figures today and tomorrow, including in their high-margin iron ore businesses, but this is unlikely to buoy shareholders who have been hit hard by falling commodities prices and an uncertain outlook, The Australian reports.

Instead, the market is likely to stay focused on what slumping resources prices are doing to the mining giants' cashflows and asset values, a situation highlighted by analysts slashing their earnings forecasts for the pair.