News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s wrap: Whitehaven boss Haggarty wants out; more unprofitable mines at risk of closure if prices falls further; and new mine tax fails to raise any revenue.
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Tony Haggarty

Staff Reporter

Whitehaven boss Haggarty wants out

Whitehaven Coal is being forced to search for a new boss after managing director Tony Haggarty told directors he wanted to leave the troubled company controlled by Nathan Tinkler, according to the Australian Financial Review.

In a move that puts more pressure on the Whitehaven board, it is believed Haggarty notified chairman Mark Vaile of his intentions earlier this year.

Potential external candidates are believed to have been contacted about the role.

More unprofitable mines at risk of closure if prices falls further

Australia’s coalmining industry has been warned its low productivity and high cost base will make a third of the country’s coalmines unprofitable if coal prices drop much further, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Consultancy Booz & Co says mining labour productivity has been losing ground to the non-mining sector at a rate of 8% a year over the past decade.

“Low productivity and high costs will magnify the impact of falling commodity prices on Australian mining profits,” Booz says.

“Our analysis suggests that a 20 per cent price drop from current levels would make 30 per cent of Australia’s coal production unprofitable.”

New mine tax fails to raise any revenue

Wayne Swan's $1.1 billion budget surplus projection has received an immediate body blow, with the government's new mining tax raising zero revenue in its first three months, according to The Australian.

None of Australia's biggest miners – BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto or Xstrata – has any liability under the minerals resource rent tax so far in 2012-13 and the government did not receive any revenue by Monday's payment deadline.

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