News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rio could suffer after NSW govt changes planning reforms; Nightmare start for commodities, further pain ahead; and BHP Billiton completes sell-down of unwanted shares.

Lou Caruana

Rio could suffer after NSW govt changes planning reforms

Rio Tinto’s five-pit Mt Thorley-Warkworth coal complex's future has been cast into doubt again by the New South Wales government's decision to overturn reforms that were introduced as recently as 2013 and that were aimed pretty obviously at extending this operation’s working life, according to the Australian Financial Review.

This saga stretches back to 2010, when Rio made its original application to extend the boundaries of the Mount Thorley-Warkworth pits to ensure the 30-year-old operation could continue producing coal until 2036.

Nightmare start for commodities, further pain ahead

A deep ending rout in iron ore prices just as record volumes are being loaded on to ships poses a troubling sign for the resources sector after commodity prices recorded a torrid start to the new financial year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Fund managers say the one advantage Australian miners have right now is that the large resources stocks have been caught up in the chase for yield and their dividends are protecting share prices from the downturn in commodity valuations.

BHP Billiton completes sell-down of unwanted shares

South32 shares will have one less seller in the market from now on, after BHP Billiton completed the sale of a bundle of them, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

BHP has been gradually selling down a 1% stake in South32 since the new company began trading on May 18, with the sales taking place on behalf of BHP shareholders who did not want to receive their South32 shares after the demerger.

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