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Australia FTA with China: shift from mining to dining

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Iron ore price crashes 4%

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Norilsk restarts Australia nickel mine mothballed during recession

Norilsk Nickel, world number one nickel and palladium producer and Russia's biggest miner, announced on Friday it is restarting operations at its Maggie Hays mine near Lake Johnston in West Australia. Norilsk mothballed Maggie Hays bought from BHP and the other Australian operations it acquired in 2007 two years later as the financial crisis cut demand. Stainless steel production accounts for around two-thirds of nickel consumption.

BHP drags market lower

Local shares have closed lower, dragged down by losses in Australian mining giant BHP Billiton.The market also had a weak lead from overseas markets, after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke deflated investors' stimulus hopes.The All Ordinaries

Spending $2,400 a month to keep a truck running in a mine

BBC's Jeremy Clarkson, a car enthusiast who hosts the show Top Gear, ran a documentary on an underground mine in Kalgoorlie, Australia, and learned about the exceptional wear-and-tear exacted on the vehicles. "Here, 2,700 feet down there are machines that have never and will never see the light of day. In one mine there are 300 miles of roads and that means the only means to get about is in a car. They are used for getting men, machines and explosives to the face, and then getting the hell out," narrates Clarkson.

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Gloucester Coal completes two acquisitions

Gloucester Coal has completed two acquisitions designed to create a leading Australian coal miner worth about $2 billion. Gloucester said it had completed the purchase of Donaldson Coal Holdings, which owns three NSW coal mines, from Asian commodities trader Noble Group.

BHP industrial action heats up

Industrial action at BHP Billiton Limited's (ASX:BHP) Queensland mines is heating up as workers fight for more job security and pay rises. According to Fairfax Media more than 400 BHP workers have started strikes at the global miner’s coking coal mines after failed talks between the company and its employees.

Northgate Minerals to acquire Primero Mining for $370 million

Northgate Minerals announced on Wednesday that it will acquire Primero Mining for $370 million. The new company, which will have a combined market capitalization of approximately $1.2 billion, will be a mid-tier gold producer and will tie together the San Dimas mine in Mexico; the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines in Australia; and the Young-Davidson gold development project in Ontario.

Minara Resources trims full year guidance

Australia's no. 2 nickel miner Minara Resources , which is resuming full production runs following repair work at its Murrin Murrin ore processing plant, trimmed its full-year production guidance on Wednesday. Minara, 71 percent-owned by commodities trader Glencore International , cut its guidance to 29,000-32,000 tonnes of nickel in 2011 from between 33,000 and 37,000 tonnes.