News Wrap

IN this morning’s News Wrap: Tinkler may not be ‘fit’ to takeover Dartbrook; strike halts work at BHP Billiton Chilean copper mine; and limited iron ore restocking seen ahead of Chinese New Year.

Lou Caruana

Tinkler may not be ‘fit’ to takeover Dartbrook

NSW Minister for Resources Anthony Roberts could struggle to approve may not approve Australian Pacific Coal’s planned $50 million takeover of the Dartbrook coal mine from Anglo American because of questions over its CEO Nathan Tinkler’s past, according to the Australian Financial Review.

In determining whether a person is “fit and proper” under the NSW Mining Act any past compliance or criminal conduct issues would be examined as would a person's record of bankruptcy, insolvency,honesty and integrity, for example.

It also looks at whether an individual is “of good repute” and was “a director of a body corporate that is the subject of a winding up order or had a controller or administrator appointed during the past three years”, among other things.

In recent years, Tinkler's billion-dollar fortune has crumbled, resulting in prominent liquidation hearings, outstanding bills and loans.

Strike halts work at BHP Billiton Chilean copper mine

Unionised workers at global miner BHP Billiton's Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile went on strike on Monday after contract negotiations failed, union director Gustavo Tapia told Reuters.

Workers “abandoned the mine, and the strike became effective as of 8 in the morning (1100 GMT)”, Tapia said.

Limited iron ore restocking seen ahead of Chinese New Year

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that there is unlikely to be a lot of restocking activity among Chinese mills ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year break in February, traders said.

“We don't see iron ore demand picking up before the holidays. It may only improve by end of February or beginning of March,” said a Shanghai-based trader.

China’s northern Hebei province, which makes a quarter of the country's steel, has pledged to cut steel output by 8 million tonnes this year in a bid to address overcapacity and air pollution, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.