News Wrap

IN THIS Morning’s News Wrap: Rio Tinto not backing away from Australian coal; Government to chase Clive Palmer for $70 million; and KordaMentha letter says stabilising Arrium first step.

Lou Caruana

Rio Tinto not backing away from Australian coal

Rio Tinto says it has no plans to sell its remaining Australian coal mines and argues the world will rely on coal for a “long time” despite the bankruptcy of US miner Peabody Energy and more divestments by Norway's sovereign wealth fund further eroding confidence in the sector, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Fronting Rio's annual meeting in London on Thursday, chairman Jan du Plessis was asked whether Peabody's long-expected decision to file for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week would prompt the Anglo-Australian mining giant to reconsider its coal operations in the NSW Hunter Valley and Queensland.

Du Plessis told shareholders the company's remaining operations were low-cost “Tier 1” assets and remained a “key part” of the miner's portfolio of operations that includes iron ore, copper and diamonds.

Government to chase Clive Palmer for $70 million

The federal government will intervene in the administration of Queensland Nickel to bring forward $70 million in entitlement payments owed to workers and to chase parliamentarian Clive Palmer for the bill, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The payments will be made under the fair entitlements guarantee (FEG) and the figure is double the largest payout under FEG.

KordaMentha letter says stabilising Arrium first step

Newly appointed administrator of collapsed steelmaker Arrium, Mark Mentha, had a first-hand look at the troubled Whyalla steelworks on Thursday and vowed to take a "grassroots" approach in restructuring, but says patience is required, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mentha, whose firm KordaMentha took over from previous administrator Grant Thornton on Tuesday night, said he hoped that by the end of next week the “shock and anger” over the collapse of Arrium would have died down, and the rebuilding could occur.

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