News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: NuCoal warns of sovereign risk after High Court loss; Rio Tinto claims its focus on low-cost production is fundamental; and Fortescue executive salaries under review, no number on job losses.

Lou Caruana

NuCoal warns of sovereign risk after High Court loss

The lawyers representing crippled coal miner NuCoal said this week's High Court decision has underlined Australia's sovereign risk to international investors, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“What parliament can give, parliament can take away – without any restriction,” said Michael Mills, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, which has represented the coal company since January 2014.

“People will know in future when investing in this country that as soon as something is politically contentious, then you have to have a real worry as to whether or not Parliament will intervene,” Mills said.

Rio Tinto claims its focus on low-cost production is fundamental

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh says that with iron ore languishing about $US50 a tonne, the mining giant has to work harder to ensure it maintains its margin over the industry's high-cost producers, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Speaking at the miner's annual general meeting in London on Thursday night, Walsh said being the world's lowest-cost producer in iron ore was “not about a competition, or a bid to secure bragging rights”, it was fundamental to Rio's strength and “health”

Fortescue executive salaries under review, no number on job losses

Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Nev Power says executive salaries are not safe from the organisational review sweeping the iron ore miner. He also refused to commit to the number of jobs at risk as a result of changes to the company's rostering system, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The 11.1% pay rise Power was granted in June was criticised by the CFMEU WA this week after the miner put an estimated 700 jobs on the chopping block in order to lower costs.

The nation's third-biggest iron ore miner told its 4000 strong Pilbara workforce on Tuesday that it would switch its boom-time eight days on, six days off roster to a 14 days on, seven days off roster.

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