News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Metgasco boss blasts NSW government suspension decision; Western Australia’s doing it tough, says Kerry Stokes; and Mincor switches to diesel from costly gas.

Lou Caruana

Metgasco boss blasts NSW government suspension decision

Metgasco managing director Peter Henderson has accused the NSW government of acting “unlawfully” and “unreasonably” when it suspended the company’s licence to drill at a site near Lismore earlier this year, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Henderson was under cross-examination during Supreme Court hearings on Monday brought by Metgasco, which is challenging the government’s suspension of approval to drill a conventional and tight gas well at Bentley in the NSW Northern Rivers region in May.

NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts halted Metgasco’s approval for the Rosella well after an audit revealed the company did not undertake community consultation.

WA doing it tough, says Kerry Stokes

Billionaire Perth-based businessman Kerry Stokes says economic conditions in his home state are the worst in nearly 25 years, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Stokes, who was speaking after the launch of his authorised biography attended by a who's who of Perth business on Monday, also backed the controversial strategy by the world's two biggest miners to ramp up iron ore production.

Glencore, Fortescue Metals Group and West Australian premier Colin Barnett have blamed BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for pushing down already weak iron ore prices by boosting production.

Miner shuns gas for cheaper diesel

Mining and exploration company Mincor is considering switching to diesel to power its operations, as domestic gas proves too costly, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Managing director David Moore said the company’s power costs had increased threefold in the past two years.

“Power has risen from what used to be 5% of our total costs to approaching 20%, which is really quite significant,” he said.

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