News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: mine subsidence devastates conservation area; CITIC turns to Wal King for advice on iron play; and state ban may lead to $500M in losses.

Staff Reporter

Mine subsidence devastates conservation area

A large section of Sugarloaf State Conservation Area in the lower Hunter has been destroyed by massive subsidence from Glencore's West Wallsend Colliery, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

An investigation has uncovered cliff faces crumbled or collapsed, a waterway destroyed, large cracks opened in the earth and a huge collapse of a hillside.

Damage was tracked over more than 2km within the ecologically sensitive conservation area adjacent to the mine's Longwall 41.

In one area, a cliff face fall of more than 20m was discovered.

Damage was cause by unplanned subsidence from longwall mining by West Wallsend Colliery, which is mining beneath 23% of the conservation area.

CITIC turns to Wal King for advice on iron play

Chinese company CITIC Pacific has reached out to former Leighton Holdings chief executive Wal King as it battles to salvage something from its $8 billion investment in the Sino Iron iron ore project in Western Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Hong Kong-listed CITIC announced late yesterday that King, who led Leighton for 23 years before stepping down at the start of 2011, had been appointed as a senior adviser.

In a statement, the company said he would “advise the board and senior management using his extensive experience of general management, engineering and construction” and his advice would be “particularly helpful” in respect to Sino Iron.

The giant iron ore project in WA’s Pilbara region is almost four years behind schedule, at least $6.5 billion over budget and remains a long way from proving its profitability.

State ban may lead to $500M in losses

NSW government plans to ban coal-seam gas production near houses and some businesses may lead to more than $500 million of corporate write-downs this earnings season as some projects are slashed to just their real estate value, according to The Australian.

Yesterday AGL Energy wrote down $343 million of the value of its NSW CSG land, including one asset by 95%.