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US court cancels most of class action against Samarco over deadly dam burst

Vale said the US District Court for the Southern District…

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BHP rules with iron fist

Mining giant BHP Billiton has defended as "effective" its strict office etiquette policy, which bans workers from eating pungent food, throwing jackets on their chairs or leaving Post-it notes on their monitors or keyboards after hours. The company outlined its "Office Environment Standard" in a memo emailed to employees in Brisbane this month.

SOS to WA mine sector

WA's resources sector has been issued an SOS from the nation's steel and manufacturing industries to ramp up investment in Australian products to prevent thousands of more jobs going offshore.

Xstrata’s huge thermal coal project being challenged in Australian court over impacts to Great Barrier Reef

Lawyers for Swiss mining giant Xstrata are in court today defending a massive coal project slated for Queensland. The AU$6 billion Wandoan coal mine has come under fire by environmentalists for its potential negative effects on the Great Barrier Reef. Bloomberg reports that Friends of the Earth, an international environmental lobby group, is attempting to block the mine’s approval at a trial in Brisbane that’s scheduled to take two weeks, arguing the coal exported from the project and burned overseas will add to global warming.

Battle royal for Macarthur Coal shaping up

The battle for Macarthur Coal is poised to intensify after news that Anglo American is considering a challenge to Peabody and ArcelorMittal's $4.7 billion hostile bid. Anglos, the world's fifth most valuable miner, is studying Macarthur's finances, media reported at the weekend. Anglos has been restructuring aggressively under chief executive Cynthia Carroll (pictured) and with second quarter 2011 profits of $4 billion has the necessary cash. But a rumoured joint bid with China's Citic could turn out to be the decisive factor to beat Peabody and ArcelorMittal's offer as Citic has already built up a 24% stake in Macarthur. Miners are scrambling for coal assets and coal for power-generation has averaged about $130/tonne this year from less than $100 in 2010. Coal now accounts for 30% of global energy use, the highest since 1970.

Iron ore price rise eclipses gold as China construction continues unabated

Australia's Fortescue Metals, barely four year after starting commercial mining, said on Friday its year-on-year net profit surged 76% to just over $1 billion driven by resilient demand from China. Shipments by the world's number four exporter rose only slightly to 40 million tonnes, but the price it achieved jumped 68%. BHP Billiton, the world most valuable miner, is set to report a record $22 billion in annual profit on Wednesday thanks in large part to its iron business. The stellar numbers come as global blast furnace growth over the next five years is predicted to rise by a staggering 300 million tonnes as China's construction boom continues unabated. On top of that India's iron ore exports could halve over the same period further bolstering prices that in percentage terms have outclassed even that of gold as the world economy recovered post the 2008 collapse.

Anglo American said to weigh counterbid for Macarthur Coal

Anglo American is exploring a bid for Macarthur Coal that would challenge Peabody Energy Corp.’s $4.9 billion offer for the Australian miner, said two people with knowledge of the matter. Anglo American, part owner of the world’s biggest platinum and diamond producers, is studying Macarthur’s finances, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the talks are private. Buying Brisbane-based Macarthur would give Anglo steelmaking-coal mines in Australia as prices trade near a record. Peabody and its bidding partner, ArcelorMittal, took their offer directly to Macarthur shareholders after talks with the board collapsed.

Newcrest wants all of billion tonne Wafi-Golpu

Mining Review reports Newcrest Mining CEO Greg Robinson told reporters on Friday it would acquire Harmony Gold Mining’s 50% stake in their massive Wafi-Golpu joint venture in Papua New Guinea if it was for sale. Last month Harmony Gold upgraded the resource estimate for Wafi-Golpu increasing it by 57% to over 1 billion metric tons, making it one of the highest grade copper-gold porphyry systems on the planet. Rumours about a possible sale by Harmony have been swirling for months and estimates of the value of the mine forecast to start production only in 2017 have bounced up and down with one investment bank pegging it at $9.9 billion.