News Wrap

IN News Wrap: Broomhead a ‘China bull’; Rio Tinto wins a battle for cheap power at Bingham Canyon mine in US; and miners reject Rinehart’s plan for northern Australia.

Lou Caruana

Broomhead a ‘China bull’

BHP Billiton director Malcolm Broomhead has declared he remains a China bull despite the slowdown in the world’s fastest-growing economy, saying he is not concerned about the longer-term outlook for iron ore prices after they recently fell to their lowest level in 18 months, according to The Australian.

Broomhead, also chairman of ports operator Asciano, lamented that the government was unprepared to take a stronger line on industrial relations reform.

Rio Tinto wins a battle for cheap power at Bingham Canyon mine in US

Rio Tinto has won a regulatory battle in the US after staring down a big Utah power company, paving the way for its copper mine to obtain cheaper power, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rio’s Kennecott Utah Copper convinced politicians in Salt Lake City to change the law to allow it to tap alternative energy providers for its troubled Bingham Canyon Mine.

The project has been under pressure since a huge landslide in April interrupted operations, cutting its production capacity by about a third and forcing the miner into an expensive salvage and rehabilitation effort.

Miners reject Rinehart’s plan for northern Australia

Business groups including the Minerals Council of Australia have rejected billionaire miner Gina Rinehart’s push for northern Australia to be declared a special economic zone, according to the Australian Financial Review.

A thinktank co-chaired by Rinehart will tell a parliamentary inquiry that the massive expanse of land above the 26th Parallel should be given tax breaks to stimulate investment and population growth.

Submissions to the inquiry reveal the special economic zone idea promulgated by Australia’s richest woman has the backing of the Liberal National Party in Queensland, as well as groups representing ports and airports.

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