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News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s <i>News Wrap:</i> NSW gives green light to two big coal mine expansions; Seven Group snares 13.8% of Beach Energy; and Qld power sale collapse sharpens focus on NSW.

Lou Caruana

NSW gives green light to two big coal mine expansions

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has given conditional approval for large extensions of two coal mines northwest of Sydney, adding potentially 31 million tonnes of extra coal output a year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

This includes the long-awaited approval for Yancoal's Moolarben expansion - which is covered in a separate ICN story today.

The other approval was for Rio Tinto's Bengalla mine continuation project, 4km west of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley. The new project will result in an additional 15Mt of coal a year for 24 years, the commission said.

Seven Group snares 13.8% of Beach Energy

Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings has revealed it now owns 13.8% of oil and gas junior Beach Energy, in a move that is certain to fuel speculation about a possible takeover for the group, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Seven has been active in the oil and gas sector since former Woodside chief executive Don Voelte was installed as Seven's chief executive in 2013.

Qld power sale collapse sharpens focus on NSW

The collapse of Queensland’s $30 billion asset privatisation scheme has stripped investment banks of millions of dollars of expected fees while nervous bid groups are being forced to refocus on the $16 billion of “poles and wires” set for sale in&#8201;NSW, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Queensland Liberal National Party ditched its $37 billion privatisation plan on Monday, removing high-voltage transmitter Powerlink and distributors Ergon and Energex from the line-up of east coast assets that have drawn major international bid interest.

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