News wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rudd blames resources lobby, Gillard for mining tax flop; Palmer’s Mineralogy fights for port security management; and Astra float looks even more unlikely.

Staff Reporter

Rudd blames resources lobby, Gillard for mining tax flop

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has taken a swipe at Rio Tinto and his predecessor, Julia Gillard, after it emerged the mining tax made no money last financial year and was likely to make very little or nothing this year, according to the Australian Financial Review.

At the same time, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott differed from Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey’s criticisms of the government’s economic forecasts, saying they were the “best estimate going”.

But he stopped short of committing the Coalition to use the numbers to try to forecast when the budget would return to surplus if he were elected.

The Prime Minister distanced himself from the failure of the minerals resource rent tax to make money, saying it was the fault of the $20 million advertising campaign that Rio and others ran against his original resource super profits tax and the subsequent watering down of the tax by Gillard and former treasurer Wayne Swan.

Palmer’s Mineralogy fights for port security management

A company owned by billionaire Clive Palmer launched court action to retain its right to manage security at a port in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The security operations relate to Chinese company CITIC’s $8 billion Sino Iron magnetite project in the Pilbara, after a decision by the federal Office of Transport Security to appoint Mr Palmer’s company, Mineralogy, to be responsible for security at the Cape Preston port, about 100km southwest of Karratha.

Mineralogy owns the land under the port infrastructure. However, a CITIC contractor built the facilities and, eventually, other miners will be granted access with the security manager overseeing the operation.

Astra float looks even more unlikely

Claims by the embattled Astra Resources about its progress towards a multi-billion dollar European float appear increasingly dubious, with the company set to struggle to qualify for a listing on several of the region's regulated markets, according to The Australian.

Analysis of the listing requirements of the regulated GXG Market and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – two of the exchanges the Adelaide-based group is targeting – suggests it is unlikely to comply with several pre-conditions relating to revenue and profitability, as well as requirements for audited asset valuations and financial accounts.

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