News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Springvale mine expansion gets PAC review nod; Iron ore seen below $US40 as Capital Economics flags ‘sharp move’; and nuclear needs a ‘40-year vision’ says Kevin Scarce.

Lou Caruana

Springvale mine expansion gets PAC review nod

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has given conditional approval for the proposed extension of the underground Springvale coal mine despite concerns from government agencies that the expansion will affect Sydney water quality.

The mine, about 15km from Lithgow to the west of the Blue Mountains, would produce about 4.5 million tonnes a year and extend the operation owned by Centennial Coal for 13 years, the PAC review said in its findings.

Iron ore seen below $US40 as Capital Economics flags ‘sharp move’

Capital Economics forecasts that iron ore may tumble into the $US30 a tonne in the second half as surging low-cost supplies from the world's biggest producers swamp the market, expanding a glut, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The surplus will become more evident in the next six months, Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist in London, said in an interview. Higher volumes from Australia and Brazil will spur the renewed slump even as stimulus spending in China boosts steel demand, Bain said, forecasting that the raw material will end the year at $US45.

Nuclear needs a '40-year vision' says Kevin Scarce

The royal commissioner presiding over the inquiry into whether South Australia should expand from being just a uranium miner says Australia must look beyond the current downturn in uranium prices and take a 30 to 40-year view about the economics of a nuclear industry, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Next week Kevin Scarce heads to the US and Canada on the second leg of an overseas visits program as part of his deliberations. He said in some ways his Royal Commission was being asked to predict the future when it came to power generation, which was changing rapidly as new large-scale battery storage technologies were developed.