Archive for November, 2010


Friday, November 26th, 2010
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Third explosion rocks NZ mine

November 26, 2010 – 11:49AM

There has been a third explosion at New Zealand’s Pike River mine – almost exactly one week after the blast that trapped 29 miners, including two Australians.

The explosion occurred at 3.39pm local time (1.39pm AEDT) and lasted for 20 seconds, Pike River Coal chairman John Dow said.

There were no reports of injuries and the explosion was smaller than the previous two blasts.

“It lasted about 20 seconds and was smaller in magnitude [than previous ones],” Mr Dow said.

Superintendent Gary Knowles said the blast occurred as emergency services representatives gathered at the mine site.

The group was some kilometres away from the mine portal at the time and not in any danger.

“This will not impede the recovery work we are doing at the site and we are continuing with our forward planning as scheduled,” he said.

Family members observing the minute’s silence would not have heard the explosion because it was only noted on CCTV footage, Mr Dow said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 26th, 2010

Thomson Resources – Seeking investors to participate in IPO

Thomson Resources Ltd (TMZ) has acquired a dominant tenement position, covering over 6,000 sq km, in a new, unexplored mineral belt – the Thomson Fold Belt in northern NSW. The area has many distinct similarities to the rich Lachlan Fold Belt which hosts world-class deposits. The first significant direct exploration in the area has revealed Cobar-type alteration and mineralisation at the first 5 anomalies tested by drilling.

TMZ’s IPO is current and a prospectus is available on the TMZ website.

For more information about Thomson Resources, click here

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Whitepaper: Shrinking World Creates New Logistics Challenges
Short Summary: In recent decades new technology and the emergence of a global economy have created boundless new opportunities for businesses of all types. A company can now ship its products to foreign markets, outsource production, and get access to cheap materials overseas with little difficulty. However, despite widespread benefits, the shrinking world also carries new risks and logistics challenges. To balance the elements of a geographically diverse supply chain you must be willing to dedicate time and resources. It may be easier than ever to forge new relationships with foreign buyers and suppliers, but these privileges come with a cost. ""
Read the Full Whitepaper

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 19th, 2010

Fortescue approves $8.5b

Pilbara expansion

Barry FitzGerald
November 19, 2010 – 12:02PM

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has given the go-ahead for an $US8.4 billion ($8.5 billion) expansion of its Pilbara iron ore operations.

The expansion from 55 million tonnes to 155 million tonnes-a-year is to be financed by bank or bond market debt facilities, cash reserves and cash flow from operations.

‘‘I would anticipate that we would take on an additional $US4 billion of debt to see us fund the expansion,’’ chief financial officer Stephen Pearce said.He said funds would be raised well in advance of the company’s requirement for capital spending.

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The final mix of external debt and cash flows will depend on iron ore price movements. At present, the Pilbara iron ore producers are enjoying boom time prices of more than $US150 a tonne for the steelmaking raw material.

The cost of the expansion – at an effective $US84 per annual tonne – is a lower cost than most analysts think is possible. The biggest Pilbara iron ore producer Rio Tinto recently said $US130 a tonne for new capacity was now the case in the Pilbara.

“This decision will enable Fortescue to leverage its existing infrastructure and its massive land holding across the Pilbara to exponentially increase product sales within key markets of Asia, Europe and Australia,” Mr Forrest said.

“After years of planning for the next phase of development, the depth of management experience and breadth of construction and operational expertise will enable Fortescue to rapidly achieve its growth ambitions within a sector that is underpinned by an extraordinary demand profile,” Mr Forrest added.

Iron ore is already Australia’s biggest export earner. Exports in 2010-11 have been estimated by ABARE at $47.7 billion. At current prices, the additional production Fortescue is targeting is alone worth $15 billion.

Pilbara iron ore production is also immensely profitable, with costs for the big three producers – Rio, BHP Billiton and Fortescue – coming in at less than $US30 a tonne. Iron ore, along with coal, is subject to the Federal government’s mining tax.

Fortescue was 1 cent lower in recent trade.

with AAP

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 19th, 2010

Miners missing after NZ

coal shaft blast

November 19, 2010 – 12:44PM

Up to 30 miners are missing after an explosion at a New Zealand coal mine.

The blast occurred at the Pike River Coal mine near Greymouth on the south island about 4.30pm (2.30pm AEDT) today.

Regular updates here

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In a statement, police said there were people ‘‘known to be in the mine’’.

‘‘Emergency services are currently attending an incident at the Pike River Coal Processing Plant in Atarau which is half way between Greymouth and Reefton,’’ police said.

Local mayor said he had been told up to 30 miners are unaccounted for.

‘‘It’s not good news. (Police) say there’s between 25 and 30 miners unaccounted for after a big explosion at the mine,’’ Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn told Radio New Zealand.

Chairman John Dow refused to comment when contacted by The Press, but chief executive Peter Whittall is expected to comment soon.

The Pike River Mine is on the opposite side of the Paparoa Ranges from the now closed Strongman State Mine where 19 miners died in an explosion in 1968.

The Pike River mine has been beset by delay, most particularly the collapse of an air ventilation shaft when it was close to opening for production.

The mine is the source of high grade coal used in steel production, most particularly for the Indian market.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Global Competitive Manufacturing Index

This year’s report indicates that access to talented workers capable of supporting innovation is the key factor driving global competitiveness at manufacturing companies – well ahead of ‘classic’ factors typically associated with competitive manufacturing, such as labor, materials, and energy. The 2010 report also identified the emergence of a new group of leaders in the manufacturing competitive index over the next five years. These include Mexico, Poland, and Thailand – countries not always considered alongside longer-standing, up-and-comers like Brazil and Russia. Not unexpectedly, Asian giants like China, India, and the Republic of Korea are projected to dominate the index in five years, as they do now. Further, dominant manufacturing super powers of the late 20th century – the United States, Japan, and Germany – are expected to become less competitive over the next five years.

Read Full Article

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, November 8th, 2010

Woodside in defence mode

as Shell sells down

Barry FitzGerald
November 8, 2010 – 2:18PM

Australia’s biggest independent oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum is in takeover defence mode after long-time shareholder and technical adviser Shell offloaded a 10 per cent stake for $3.3 billion.

The sale will leave Shell with a 24.27 per cent Woodside stake but has signalled that Shell is an eventual seller of the rest of its stake, with BHP Billiton a candidate following its inability to secure Canadian government approval last week for its $40 billion hostile takeover bid for crop nutrient producer Potash Corp.

Shell’s divestment to a spread of investors through UBS AG is at $42.23 a share.

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That is at a discount to Woodside’s closing market price today of $45.86 a share – a higher level reached in recent days in response to speculation that BHP would now turn its attention to the operator of the North West Shelf gas project following the Potash disappointment.

Shell has told buyers of the offloaded stake that it will stick around with the rest of its holding for at least one year.

Shell chief executive Peter Voser said Shell’s selldown was part of the Anglo-Dutch giant’s drive to focus on direct investments, rather than indirect stakes. ‘‘We will manage our remaining position in Woodside over time in the context of our global portfolio.”

The selldown by Shell means that the world’s oil and gas majors – minus Shell – will be running the rule over the country’s premier liquefied natural gas producer.

The move by Shell comes as future management of Woodside is left in limbo following the recent decision by long-serving chief executive Don Voelte to return to America.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 6th, 2010

United Nations names Australia as the

second best place in the world to live

November 5, 2010

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Australia second best place to live

The UN Development Program ranks Australia’s quality of life the second best in the world.

The United Nations has named oil-rich Norway as the country with the best quality of life, followed by Australia and New Zealand, while Asia has made the biggest strides in recent decades.

However, the UN’s annual A-to-Z of global wealth, poverty, health and education highlighted that it is becoming ever more difficult to break into the rich club of nations.

Norway – with its 81 years of life expectancy and average annual income of $US59,000 ($59,000) – has topped the Human Development Index (HDI) for all but two years since 2001.

It doesn’t come in first place in any individual category – average income in Liechtenstein, for example, is a wallet-busting $US81,011 and Japan’s life expectancy is 83.6 years – but Norway’s all-round performance gives it superiority in the 20th annual rankings on the UN Development Program (UNDP).

Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland, in order, also made the top five.

Zimbabwe came in last among the 169 nations ranked, behind Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In stark contrast to the leaders, in Zimbabwe life expectancy is just 47 and per capita income $US176.

DR Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe are the only countries in which the HDI value fell below 1970 levels.

“These countries offer lessons on the devastating impact of conflict, the AIDS epidemic and economic and political mismanagement,” UNDP chief and former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clarke said yesterday.

The study aims to give a broader assessment of quality of life than just income – by including, health, education, gender equality and political freedom – and its lead writer, Jeni Klugman, said most of the world had seen “dramatic progress” since 1970.

Average life expectancy rose from 59 to 70 years, primary school enrollment grew from 55 to 70 per cent, and per capita incomes doubled to more than $US10,000. Many of the poorest countries achieved some of the greatest gains, she said.

“Overall they are healthier, more educated and wealthier and [have] more power to appoint and hold their leaders accountable than ever before,” Klugman said.

“But some countries have suffered serious setbacks, particularly in health – sometimes erasing the gains of several decades.”

The nations that have risen most in the rankings in recent decades include “growth miracles” such as China, which has risen eight places in the past five years to 89th, Indonesia and South Korea.

East Asia and the Pacific had by far the strongest overall performance of any region over the past 40 years – twice the average worldwide progress.

China, the second highest index achiever since 1970, has been successful mainly because of income rather than health or education, the report said.

China’s per capita income increased 21-fold over four decades, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. Yet China was not among Asia’s top performers in school enrollment and life expectancy.

Klugman highlighted that “economic growth alone does not automatically bring improvements in health and education”.

Nepal surprisingly emerged as one of the most improved nations since 1970, despite its longstanding civil war.

A child born today in Nepal can expect to live 25 years longer than a child born in 1970.

In six sub-Saharan African countries and three in the former Soviet Union, life expectancy is now below 1970 levels – mainly because of the HIV epidemic and tougher conditions in former communist nations.

And even though incomes have grown dramatically, poor nations are not making the same economic strides as they are in health and education.

“On average, rich countries have grown faster than poor ones over the past 40 years.

“The divide between developed and developing countries persists: a small subset of countries has remained at the top of the world income distribution and only a handful of countries that started out poor have joined that high income group,” the report concluded.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha