News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Coal mine faces costly legal stoush; new technologies give future of graphite a fillip; and Roy Hill casts doubt on rivals’ export expansion plans.

Lou Caruana

Coal mine faces costly legal stoush

The controversial $800 million Wallarah 2 coal project on the Central Coast is likely to be mired in a legal battle after the collapse of negotiations between a mining company and the local Aboriginal land council, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A week before the proposal is due to be considered by an independent planning authority, the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council says it will seek an injunction to halt assessment of the project's development application, on the basis that it is invalid.

A Wallarah 2 spokesman has accused the council of “pure extortion” for requesting amounts to $300 million in exchange for its support for the project.

Premier Barry O'Farrell has been criticised for allowing the proposal to proceed through the planning process, having said, while in opposition, that it would never go ahead under a government he led. It is now before the Planning Assessment Commission for determination.

New technologies give future of graphite a fillip

Junior explorers and developers that have graphite as their focus have been creating a bit of a buzz on the sharemarket, according to The Australian.

While the rest of the junior mining market has continued to struggle to attract investor attention, the share prices of the graphite junior explorers have been popping higher.

Roy Hill casts doubt on rivals’ export expansion plans

Confirmation that Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill project will go ahead may make it harder for the likes of BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals to continue growing their exports out of an increasingly busy Port Hedland as road and port infrastructure reach their limits, according to the Australian Financial Review.