News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Tinkler attempts tilt at Peabody’s Wilkie Creek; BHP Billiton spin-out could call original merger into question; and Clive Palmer moves to clear his carbon tax bill.

Lou Caruana

Tinkler attempts tilt at Peabody’s Wilkie Creek

Nathan Tinkler appears determined to make a comeback, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The former Rich Lister, who this week staved off a bid to strip him of his ownership of the Newcastle Knights NRL club, is attempting to engineer another coal deal.

This time Tinkler is sniffing around Queensland’s Wilkie Creek mine, which has been on the block since mid-2012 when owner Peabody Energy hired UBS to test the market’s appetite for a sale.

At the time, Wilkie Creek was exporting 2.5 million tonnes of thermal coal a year through Port of Brisbane and a $500 million price tag was touted to prospective buyers.

Tinkler had a look, as did Thailand’s PTT, New Hope and Yancoal.

A sale would be for option value only given the price of thermal needs to increase significantly enough to restart mining at Wilkie Creek.

Sources said $100 million would be a good price.

BHP Billiton spin-out could call original merger into question

Fund managers say the merits of the 2001 merger between Australia's BHP and London-listed Billiton would be called into question if the modern-day BHP Billiton proceeds with a spin-out of its aluminium, manganese and nickel divisions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The future of BHP's non-core commodities was thrust into the spotlight on Tuesday when media reported that senior BHP executives were leaning towards a divestment of the assets into a new resources company owned by BHP shareholders.

Clive Palmer moves to clear his carbon tax bill

Clive Palmer has backed down in his fight over the carbon tax by moving to settle some of his company’s outstanding debt, as the affair cast a cloud over his bid to amass more power in federal Parliament, according to The Australian.

Palmer promised to pay some of his nickel refinery’s carbon tax bill after nine months of dispute with federal authorities that would have seen the debt balloon to $36 million.

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