News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: FIFO setback for BHP workers; cracks appear in LNG story; and Flanagan back in Atlas managing director chair.

Lou Caruana

FIFO setback for BHP workers

BHP Billiton's approach to fly-in, fly-out workforces in the Queensland coalfields has suffered a setback, with a top planning official declaring that new mines in the region will not be approved if they are staffed 100% by FIFO workers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In comments that highlight a stark shift in political attitudes toward FIFO, BHP and its partner Mitsubishi were told their plans to build a new coking coal mine in the Bowen Basin would only be approved if some employees were allowed to live in local towns.

Cracks appear in LNG story

The timing of Australia's $160 billion push to secure the mantle of the world’s biggest LNG exporter by 2018 is growing murkier by the day, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

For years the thesis underpinning Australia's rapid ascent to become a global LNG powerhouse has centred on an accepted piece of wisdom within the industry: that Asian utilities would continue to buy massive quantities of gas at a premium to other markets around the world.

Flanagan back as Atlas managing director

Atlas Iron chairman David Flanagan has returned as the managing director of the struggling iron ore junior as it revealed it will raise $180 million at an issue price lower than its shares have ever traded, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Atlas revealed late on Thursday night Flanagan would replace current managing director Ken Brinsden, who will move to the role of executive director to manage the company's “new operational approach”. The change is effective immediately.