News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Iron ore price crash erases $74b in market value; SA sets out agenda for nuclear inquiry; and Sirius to take advantage of post-boom WA.

Lou Caruana

Iron ore price crash erases $74b in market value

The plummeting iron ore price has wiped $74 billion from the value of Australia's key iron ore mining stocks since January 2014, and analysts expect share prices to continue their decline as the price for the commodity slides, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Investors that held on to the stocks while the price of iron ore sank during the past 15 months are now nursing losses in value of as much as 92%.

Together, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, Mount Gibson Iron, Atlas Iron, BC Iron, Arrium and Grange Resources suffered enormously as ore prices slumped 60% from $US134 a tonne in January 2014 to $US50.93 a tonne on Friday.

SA sets out agenda for nuclear industry inquiry

Five experts who are a mixture of “for and against” the nuclear industry have been appointed to an expert panel as South Australia accelerates its royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle with a deadline for a final report now set for May, 2016, the Australian Financial Review.

Kevin Scarce, the former South Australian governor who is presiding over the commission, said on Friday he had put in place a “self-imposed” deadline of May 6, 2016, and the commission would also be heading to several overseas countries to see first hand how the industry works on the ground.

Sirius to take advantage of post-boom WA

Sirius Resources, one of the few mining companies scheduled to open a mine rather than close one, has found the downturn is good news: worker shortages are easing and it is easier to secure exploration rights over land, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Sirius managing director Mark Bennett said the company was able to secure an additional 250 square kilometres of exploration ground near its Baloo gold deposit, in Western Australia's Goldfields, that had been left vacant.