News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Australian coal miners to take fresh price hit from Japanese buyers; Carmichael will carry hidden costs, US investor predicts; and BHP Billiton's face-off with Mossack Fonseca.

Lou Caruana

Australian coal miners to take fresh price hit from Japanese buyers

Australian thermal coal miners are set to take another price hit, with Japanese power utilities close to agreeing to a contract price that will be more than 10% below last year's contract price, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The annual round of price negotiations with the Japanese buyers is close to completion, and Marian Hookham from coal data provider IHS said the Japanese customers were increasingly reluctant to pay a premium.

Carmichael will carry hidden costs, US investor predicts

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that approval of a giant new coal mine for Queensland is likely to deliver only short-term economic benefits and may carry a hidden cost if its demise triggers a bailout for miners needing new jobs, a leading US investor says.

Stephen Heintz, president of the $US860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund, predicts the world will move rapidly away from fossil fuels to avoid dangerous climate change. Approval of a mine that may produce 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide - eight times Australia's annual output - is not going to help.

BHP Billiton's face-off with Mossack Fonseca

A financial representative for BHP Billiton threatened to fire notorious Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca if it went ahead with a due diligence investigation, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The law firm's compliance division in Panama told BHP Billiton in June 2015 that its governance controversies put it into a high-risk category, which had triggered a legal requirement for the company to produce extensive documentation.

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