News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Whitehaven urges stiffer action against illegal protesters; going broke in coal mining is hard to do, says BHP Billiton; and safety concerns stack up at Roy Hill.

Lou Caruana

Whitehaven urges stiffer action against illegal protesters

Whitehaven Coal CEO Paul Flynn has criticised the judiciary for letting illegal protesters off with “no more than a whipping with a feather” as the company considered prospects for development of its next new mine, the Vickery project in the Gunnedah Basin, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Flynn also urged governments to address the “complete dysfunction” between state and Commonwealth functions that came to the surface during the drawn-out approvals process for Whitehaven's $767 million Maules Creek mine, and to limit the ability of minority groups using taxpayer funds to challenge approved projects.

Going broke in coal mining is hard to do, says BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton's new chief commercial officer Dean Dalla Valle says depressed coal prices will persist because “going broke is hard to do”, with the market seeing far fewer closures than expected in the past two years, according to the Australian Financial Review.

But Dalla Valle said BHP must continue to look for efficiencies and cuts in metallurgical and thermal coal because “we don't expect to be saved by price”

Safety concerns stack up at Roy Hill

Hancock Prospecting's $US10 billion ($13.7 billion) Roy Hill project has received its 10th prohibition notice from the West Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum in just over a year after another safety incident involving a crane, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

On Tuesday last week, a crane was lowering a man cage, used to transport workers to and from heights, when the cage crashed into scaffolding.

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