News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Joyce slams Abbott government over Shenhua coal mine approval; coal habits die hard as Australian miners boost exports; and BHP confident on China demand despite iron ore price plunge.

Lou Caruana

Joyce slams Abbott government over Shenhua coal mine approval

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says “the world has gone mad” after his own government approved the highly contentious Shenhua Watermark coal mine in his NSW electorate, despite his vehement protests, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday conditionally approved the $1.2 billion project, putting him at odds with his Nationals colleague who has previously decried the proposal by the Chinese government-owned firm as “an absurdity”

Coal habits die hard as Australian miners boost exports

Australian miners are continuing to expand coal shipments despite weak demand in China and sliding prices, with three ports in Queensland setting new export records for the 2015 financial year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Minerals Council analysis found Australian coal exports rose 5% in the past year, with new records set at Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point and Abbot Point.

BHP confident on China demand despite iron ore price plunge

BHP Billiton chief commercial officer Dean Dalla Valle has spoken out about iron ore price plunging below $US50 a tone, saying there will be “short term volatility” in commodity markets while expressing confidence in China's long term demand for Australia’s largest export, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Dalla Valle, responding to a question in Washington amid a share market rout in China, said as China’s economy rebalanced from investment to consumption, its demand for commodities had slowed to a more sustainable pace.

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