News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Wesfarmers to see coal price cut, adds resources; millions flow into Roy Hill project; and more former port staff to give evidence to dredge probe.

Lou Caruana

Wesfarmers to see coal price cut, adds resources

Wesfarmers has advised it will see a 5% cut in prices for coal from its Curragh mine in Queensland this quarter, but has reiterated its confidence in the longer-term outlook by reaching a $70 million deal to acquire a nearby licence area, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Millions flow into Roy Hill project

Gina Rinehart has continued to tip millions into the Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia, as confidence in the project builds on the back of loans secured in December, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Documents recently submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that a subsidiary of Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting made another down payment of $251.6 million on the giant iron ore mine, port and rail project.

The payment was made via Hanrine Holdings, which was incorporated into the Roy Hill deed in October, and was accompanied by a smaller payment of almost $15 million from her joint venture partner POSCO.

Japanese company Marubeni and China Steel Corporation are also involved in the joint venture. It is these joint venture partners that have dominated the down payments made on the project in recent months.

More former port staff to give evidence to dredge probe

More ex-employees of Gladstone Ports Corporation have come forward to give evidence to an independent commission of inquiry into Australia's biggest dredging project, which coincided with a collapse in aquatic health in a World Heritage listed harbour, according to The Australian.

The inquiry will probe the conduct and management of the dredging works in Gladstone Harbour, Queensland's biggest industrial port, and the environmental oversight by state and federal authorities.