News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Forecaster caught out by iron ore price plunge; anti-CSG groups says use of radioactive materials should be disclosed; and Alkane tips share rerating on approval of $1 billion rare earths project.

Lou Caruana

Forecaster caught out by iron ore price plunge

Australia’s top official resources forecaster plans to lower its short-term iron ore price outlook in December after being caught out by the fall to a five-year low of $US70 a tonne, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Wayne Calder, head of the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, defended the agency’s failure to anticipate the price collapse and said its forecasts were for an average price over a year rather than a spot price at a particular time.

“BREE, as well as many other analysts, didn’t see, I guess, the length of the fall or how low the spot price would go in this particular period,” Calder said.

“And it’s really still driven in terms of a lot of things that are happening in the Chinese economy, in housing and accumulation of steel stock.”

Anti-CSG groups says use of radioactive materials should be disclosed

Radioactive material is being used at some coal seam gas drilling sites in NSW and Queensland, raising concerns about health and environmental impacts, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A radiation management licence issued to US-based drilling company Halliburton shows it is permitted to use caesium-137, a radioactive isotope, for drilling by AGL at Gloucester, in the northern Hunter Valley and for Santos in the Pilliga forests near Narrabri.

Alkane tips share rerating on approval of $1 billion rare earths project

Alkane Resources expects to receive approvals for its $1 billion rare earths project in the first quarter of 2015, which it expects will pave the way for a rerating of its shares as it finalises the financing of the project, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Only a small portion of the capital needed will be raised from shareholders, with other financing options such as seeking a cornerstone investor in the project along with project financing and funding from foreign government agencies anticipated to provide much of the needed capital.

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