Recently, there has been market speculation that
Xstrata is reconsidering its involvement in the
WiCEt project because of uncertainty with government approval of
its AuD$6 billion Wandoan coal mine, along with
rising costs, newly introduced taxes (including the carbon tax) and
a recent slump in thermal coal prices. However, The
Australian reported on 29 June 2012 that all four miners
involved in the WICET second stage expansion (Aquila
Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Stanmore Coal and
Xstrata) have signed the WICEt capacity commitment
deeds. the report further noted that this boosts the chances that
the expanded port and the associated AUD$1billion Surat
Basin rail project will begin exporting by 2016.
Since the india-based steel producer Jindal Steel &
Power (JSP) sold its interest in
Rocklands Richfield to China's shandong energy, it has been
rumoured in the Australian Financial Review that JSP is
interested in acquiring an interest in ASX-listed coal mining
company Carabella Resources.
The Australian Financial Review reported on 24 July
2012 that AsX-listed Bandanna Energy is seeking
partners for its AuD$700 million Springsure Creek
coal project in the Bowen Basin. the report cited Bandanna's
chief executive, Michael Gray, as saying that
Korean and Chinese energy companies have expressed an interest in
this joint venture. the report further noted that Korea's
Samtan, who has a 10% interest in Bandanna, is
considered a likely joint venture candidate.
It has been rumoured in a number of sources including
Newswire and Business Standard that the
indian-based staterun coal company International Coal
Ventures Ltd (ICVL) is examining
acquisition opportunities in Australia, new Zealand and Mozambique.
ICVl is a joint venture that was established in 2009 by five indian
state-owned companies that aims to acquire coal mines outside of
india to meet growing domestic needs. the report further noted
that, according to the chairman of ICVl, CS Verma,
funding is not an issue for ICVl's inorganic growth plans.
The Economic Times reported on 2 July 2012 that
india's GVK Group is planning to close funding
for its Alpha Coal project by the first quarter of
2013. the Alpha Coal project is an integrated mine, rail and port
coal project estimated at us$10 billion. the Business
Standard reported that Gina Rinehart, who
currently holds 21% of the Alpha Coal project, is open to buying
back shares from GVK. it is further reported that, according to
Gina Rinehart, the outstanding environmental approval from the
Australian federal government for the project is likely to be
granted in the next month.
It is a common misconception that the grant of mining tenure, whether it be an Exploration Permit, Mineral Development Licence or Mining Lease, will entitle the holder to access all land within it in order to explore or mine.
This briefing note sets out a likely structure for the proposed privatisation of the networks and identifies key issues.
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