News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rio linked to collusion on Warkworth; Glencore still on acquisition hunt; and BHP to lose iron grip on Port Hedland tugs.

Lou Caruana

Rio linked to collusion on Warkworth

The NSW government has been accused of working in “partnership” with mining giant Rio Tinto to circumvent court rejections of a coal mining expansion project in the Hunter Valley.

Documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal how the miner pressed the government to change legislation to overturn court decisions that blocked the expansion of its Mount Thorley Warkworth Mine near Singleton.

Glencore still on acquisition hunt

The arrival of Glencore chairman Tony Hayward in Australia this week will do little to calm tensions between the Swiss miner and Rio Tinto, amid expectations that a Glencore will make a second tilt at a $190 billion merger with Rio in early 2015, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Hayward’s flying visit to Australia will include a speaking engagement in Melbourne on Tuesday and meetings with some of Glencore’s Australian staff, but British takeover laws will likely prevent him from publicly spruiking the merits of a merger with Rio this week.

BHP to lose iron grip on Port Hedland tugs

The operator of Port Hedland says it still plans to break BHP Billiton’s exclusive hold on tugboat services within the harbour, despite the nation’s biggest company introducing a new subcontractor to the tugboat business this week, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Pilbara Ports Authority has been working towards issuing a second licence to operate tugs inside Port Hedland, after the ACCC recommended an alternative provider be introduced alongside BHP, which has historically subcontracted its licence to shipping company Teekay.