News Wrap

IN News Wrap today: Australia’s productivity-wages balance put in question; Queensland rail milestone; and a copper giant goes on strike.

Justin Niessner

Oz miners deemed overpaid

Japanese trading company Mitsui said Australia’s high mining wages were unjustified considering the country’s poor productivity in the sector, according to the Australian Financial Review.

“It’s an inconvenient truth but Australia’s high wages are not supported by an equally high productivity,” Mitsui Australia boss Yasushi Takahashi was quoted as saying.

“The biggest subject we are tracking right now with our joint venture partners is to improve productivity to match up with high costs.”

Queensland infrastructure milestone

Construction of rail infrastructure for Adani Mining’s $A2.2 billion coal project in Queensland has been approved by the federal government.

“Today’s approval is a significant milestone in the life of our integrated mine, rail and port project, helping transition from approvals to the build phase,” Adani chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said, reported by Reuters.

The North Galilee Basin rail project is planned to link Adani mines to the port of Abbot Point.

Copper giant on strike

Employees at the world’s largest copper mine have gone on strike, according to Sky News Australia.

Union leaders were reported to have claimed 99% of the workers at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile – or some 2000 people – called a day-long walkout due to grievances about working hours and job security.

The miners also asked for measures to protect them from the effects of the mine’s position in high altitude, 3000m above sea level in the Andes mountains.

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