News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: mettle of big miners' austerity to be tested; economic growth expected to slow in China; and Cameco backs foreign ownership of Canadian uranium mines.

Staff Reporter

Mettle of big miners' austerity to be tested

The nation's biggest resource companies release quarterly reports this week in the first chance for investors to gauge progress in the big miners' self-proclaimed new era of spending restraint and productivity, according to The Australian.

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum and Santos will report production and energy firms’ revenue from what has been a weaker quarter than it could have been from the nation's resource-rich Pilbara in Western Australia.

Economic growth expected to slow in China

China’s second-quarter growth, out today, is expected to show the slowing of its economy has continued, but analysts are taking heart from assurances from Premier Li Keqiang that growth will not be allowed to fall much further, according to The Australian.

The consensus forecast among China analysts tips a growth rate of 1.8% for the quarter, taking annual growth to 7.5%, down from 7.7% in March and the expectations of 8%-plus with which the year began.

Cameco backs foreign ownership of Canadian uranium mines

Canadia-based uranium giant Cameco Corporation has broken ranks with its own government, arguing Australian companies should be able to wholly own uranium mines in the North American country, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Canada’s policy limiting foreign ownership of uranium mines to 49% was thrust into the spotlight last year when the Saskatchewan-based Cameco paid $US430 million to acquire 100% of the Yeelirrie uranium project in Western Australia from BHP Billiton.

The move stoked diplomatic ­tensions between the two countries with a number of senior Australian politicians using the acquisition to lobby the Canadian government for foreign investment “reciprocity”

Australian companies with undeveloped uranium assets in Canada, including Paladin Energy and Rio Tinto, expressed hope at the time that the restriction on ownership would be lifted in the spirit of equality.