News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Investors could be scared off by green laws targeting Palmer; BHP Billiton targets bigger copper haul from Olympic Dam; and Freeport copper throws Rio Tinto a rare opportunity.

Lou Caruana

Investors could be scared off by green laws targeting Palmer

The Australian Financial Review reports farmers could be held liable for any environmental damage that occurs from a mining project on their property, a parliamentary inquiry has been told.

An unlikely alliance of big miners, the property industry and lawyers used the inquiry hearings in Brisbane to criticise the Queensland government's proposed environmental protection laws which were described as ill-conceived, rushed and aimed at scoring a political hit on businessman turned politician Clive Palmer.

BHP Billiton targets bigger copper haul from Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton has plans to increase production at Olympic Dam much more quickly and cheaply than expected and in time to fully capitalise on a predicted shortfall in global copper supply, according to the Australian Financial Review.

BHP said in December last year it expected to lift copper output at the South Australian mine to 255,000 tonnes within five years, and without substantial capital outlay. But BHP now believes it can lift production to 280,000t annually for a capital spend expected to be less than $US500 million.

Freeport copper throws Rio Tinto a rare opportunity

Incoming Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques should start his time at the helm with a “once in a career opportunity” and buy prized Peruvian copper asset Cerro Verde from struggling major Freeport-McMoRan, according to the Australian Financial Review.

That’s the view of analysts from London-based Bernstein, who argue that low copper prices and a looming copper supply shortage make this the time to strike.

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