News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Fortescue Metals roster changes could cost more than 700 Pilbara jobs; falling iron ore price threatens Aurizon's rail plans; and WA acts to stop advanced alerts on mining tenements.

Lou Caruana

Fortescue Metals roster changes could cost more than 700 Pilbara jobs

Fortescue Metals Group could slash more than 700 jobs across the Pilbara as it abandons boom time rosters in its latest bid to cut costs amid soft iron ore prices, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The nation’s third-biggest iron ore miner told its 40000-strong Pilbara workforce on Tuesday that it was switching its plum eight days on, six days off roster in favour of a 14 days on, seven days off roster.

Falling iron ore price threatens Aurizon's rail plans

Aurizon's plans to build a new 430km rail line to Anketell Point in the Pilbara to export iron ore appear increasingly shaky as tumbling prices raise questions over the rail group's existing iron ore haulage contracts, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge warned in February that building a Pilbara rail line would be “very challenging” at current iron ore prices, which were then trading at close to $US60 per tonne.

WA acts to stop advanced alerts on mining tenements

Western Australia's Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) will upgrade its systems this week in response to the use of software that allows a company to find out that a potentially valuable piece of mineral tenure is vacant even before the department is aware of it, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The software has helped some miners and specialist tenement managers secure exploration and mining rights to West Australia's Pilbara and Goldfields, given mining laws rely on a “first-in-first-served” principle.

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