tip off

Bishop’s Mongolian mining howler: talk about your sovereign risk

Julie Bishop lauds Mongolia as superior to Australia in encouraging mining investment. Too bad she didn’t check the business pages, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Rio Tinto’s Gove plant never delivered on indigenous hopes

Rio Tinto will close its Gove smelting plant, which is not necessarily a bad outcome for the Yolngu people. ANU professor Jon Altman says employment opportunities are better sought elsewhere.

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Economic lessons from WA: nobody booms over this bust

The Western Australian government’s budget and Rio Tinto’s continuing reliance on the Pilbara reflect economic reality rather than political or corporate rhetoric, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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‘Minerals Week’ in a realm of industry rentseeking

The rentseekers and whingers of the mining industry gather in Canberra this week. But you can be sure that there are a few topics that won’t be mentioned, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

As Australia’s first bookie to sponsor a football team (well, a coach, really), Richard Farmer has reason to think Tom Waterhouse’s ads must be profitable. Plus other political views along the way.

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Rinehart gets on board Melbourne’s campaign to lure Rio home

It’s not often that Stephen Mayne and Gina Rinehart agree. But they’ve found common ground in urging mining giant Rio Tinto, which has recently slashed its Melbourne workforce, to relocate its headquarters from London to Australia.

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Media briefs: Punch KO’ed … Guinea foul … Pope puns …

After four years, The Punch is being subsumed into part of News Ltd. Is it about time? Plus a distinct lack of fact-checking at The AFR.

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Media briefs: Langton defence … AFR sceptics … ‘mummy bloggers’ …

Russell Skelton has issued a bizarre defence of Marcia Langton in the new-look Age, and Mia Freedman talks penis blogging.

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Disclosure wars: Skelton defends Langton (backed by Rio)

The Age’s Russell Skelton offers a bizarre and self-contradictory defence of Marcia Langton after Crikey revealed she failed to disclose links to Rio Tinto in her Boyer lecture series.

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Marcia Langton defends non-disclosure on mining cash before Boyers

The academic background to last year’s Boyer Lectures was funded by global miners Rio Tinto and Woodside. But the audience was none the wiser. Should she and the ABC have disclosed?

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Australia, Rio Tinto joined at the broken hip of iron ore

Rio Tinto is over-exposed to iron ore prices that have collapsed over the last 12 months — just like the Australian economy. David Llewellyn-Smith of MacroBusiness wonders if there’s any way out.

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Global mining giants fail to hit paydirt, more write-downs

Mining companies around the world are announcing billions of dollars worth of write-downs. Here’s a list of the biggest cuts.

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Now’s the time to secure Rio Tinto HQ for Australia

Gina Rinehart has called for it, and it makes a lot of sense: bringing Rio Tinto home. Applying some board pressure could force new CEO Sam Walsh to shift HQ to Perth.

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He’s not Moses, he’s just a miner: Albanese departure shifts debate

With Rio Tinto writing down billions, maybe it’s time for some realism in debates about “productivity”, “sovereign risk”, and whether miners are the Messiah. Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane report.

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Tips and rumours

Which pollie is known as “Wottha” to his ALP colleagues? … rumbles as Swan poaches AFR journo … three’s a crowd on this airline’s Valentine’s special …

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He went to Rio, and lost $35b: Albanese’s destructive path

The media let Tom Albanese off the hook too easily. The ousted Rio Tinto boss will go down as one of the most value-destroying executives in global corporate history.

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Past catches up with Albanese, but is Rio back to the future?

Rio chief Tom Albanese has been eased out after a series of failures. But in appointing Sam Walsh to stand in, has Rio Tinto learnt from its mistakes?

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Takeover gone bad: how Tom, Rio got in over their heads

There was a US$14 billion bounty on Tom Albanese after Rio Tinto was forced to writedown the value in its operations. The CEO and his board stand condemned for getting in over their heads.

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The $17b iron ore slump that lined Chinese pockets

The slump in iron ore prices boosted the Chinese economy — but robbed Australian exporters like BHP and Rio Tinto of significant revenue in 2012. But the tables are turning.

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Resources firms dine out despite carbon tax scare campaign

Australian resources companies have enjoyed a healthy six months since the introduction of the Gillard government’s feared carbon tax. So much for the predicted business wipeout.

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Rio Tinto hits rivers of trouble in Mongolia’s mines

While Rio Tinto’s executives bask in the friendly climes of London, Perth and Singapore, it’s in Mongolia — one of the unforgiving lands where the it digs up its treasure — Rio has again orchestrated its own crisis.

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Why life is more complicated than boom and bust

The “boom is over” crowd miss the point that the end of record minerals prices is, in the long-term, a good thing for industry.

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China has big spending plans as its economy gets rougher

Is China indulging in another round of talks about new spending that it will find almost impossible to back with what’s really needed — cold, hard cash?

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Global miners’ results a clear warning to BHP, Rio

Poor quarterly results released overnight by a trio of miners from the US and Canada contained clear warning signs for the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

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Australia risks missing out on green energy investment

Australia has already been bypassed once by the world’s leading renewable energy developers, and risks doing so again if it makes more changes to its green energy policies, writes Giles Parkinson of RenewEconomy.

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