News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Coalition takes axe to climate programs; mining lobby demands compo; and copper miner loses much of its sheen.

Staff Reporter

Coalition takes axe to climate programs

Public servants are drawing up plans to collapse 33 climate change schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies into just three bodies run by two departments under a substantial rewrite of the administration of carbon abatement schemes under the Coalition, according to The Australian.

Coalition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt briefed public servants on the dramatic restructure of the federal climate change bureaucracy before the election was called and yesterday confirmed the Coalition was committed to proceeding with the plan.

Mining lobby demands compo

The peak body for exploration companies has questioned the Northern Territory government's claim to be “open for business” following its decision to effectively revoke tenements held by three miners, including BHP Billiton, by banning seabed mining off Groote Eylandt, according to The Australian.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison said the Giles government's shock decision to impose the ban could set a dangerous precedent and must be accompanied by fair compensation for the companies affected.

Copper miner loses much of its sheen

Almost 12 months after first making his designs known on Botswana copper miner Discovery Metals, Chinese billionaire Yong Yu appears to have abandoned any lingering thoughts of taking over the troubled company, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Over the past two weeks, Yu’s private equity firm, Cathay Fortune Corporation, has been progressively selling down the 13.7% stake it accumulated in Discovery prior to making an $830 million takeover bid for the company in October last year.

On Monday, Discovery advised the market that Cathay Fortune was no longer a substantial shareholder, meaning its stake has dropped below 5 per cent. Cathay Fortune ended up pulling its initial bid in February this year due to Discovery’s repeated rejection of its request to conduct due diligence on the Boseto copper mine in Botswana.

The lapse of the offer was accompanied by a sharp fall in Discovery’s share price, as details about the company’s precarious financial position emerged and it was forced to cut the estimated amount of copper held in reserves at Boseto.

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