Must read Fairfax story on NSW resources industry

The minister the money and the mine. How a rotten deal was hatched – If journalists know of any unlawful acts by anybody then they should report those to the police. I see that half way down the article switches to the buying of a SA winery by Chinese interests and touches on the leasing of Darwin Port to a Chinese group which should never have been approved by Govt. Can I just mention that the NSW Resources Dept has this www page under “Investors” detailing a wide range of projects where the owners/explorers are open to Joint Venture or outright sale. So any company asking the Resources Dept or Minister about buying “…any metal mine (gold, iron, etc.) As long as the exploration is done…” should have been pointed to the above www page – simple.
Of course once you have read the first half of this story re NSW resources – spare a few moments to think about the experience of Shenhua who in 2008 bought a coal orebody from the NSW Govt and a decade later still are little closer to having a mine despite spending a lazy ~$Bn. So what big Chinese – or any other nationality – resource group would go near NSW without counting their fingers very carefully? I blogged twice on Shenhua.

13 thoughts on “Must read Fairfax story on NSW resources industry”

  1. I guess if the Enron Model is OK for our current gas spot market players when our “green credentials”are more important than base load power; the Obeid/Macdonald model is just fine & dandy for ALL our politicians……………../sarc.

  2. ” … provided that the exploration was done”

    That is the basis of the market in resource development. What the idiot MSM call “junior” explorers risk capital on geological exploration and if successful offer it for sale to the larger players.

    There are a number of ethical consultants who may act as independent brokers in these sales – I’ve been involved in some. The politics I leave to others who may be interested (as I am not, politicians are not productive people and most are highly unlikeable) but political involvement is not required – unless it involves the FIRB, when the murky swirls of high-end politicos may be smelled.

    My guess here, and in a number of similarly structured developments, is that the Chinese instinctively choose the high-end political approach as that mind-set is what they are accustomed to from the PRC. Shenhua made that fundamental error, in my view, and now are deeply mired in unrecoverable economic loss.

  3. Mr Hartcher and his political mates are laughing at us.
    Brown paper bags full of cash, bottles of wine, offshore accounts, money going unnoticed into accounts and selling the country out from under us?
    How many politicians are on a retainer, or big paying jobs consulting with companies they dealt with whilst supposedly working for the good of the taxpayers.
    There should be a lot more politicians sharing cells next to Obeid and MacDonald.

  4. A few years back Shenhua eventually lost interest in a deal being pursued with Hydro Tasmainia to build a massive 200 turbine wind farm on King Island. I don’t know how much that cost Shenhua but I expect it would be small change compared with the hundreds of millions if not billions they’ve spent so far on the Watermark project.
    It’s hard to see why any overseas company would be prepared to put serious capital into mining projects in Australia now when it’s a given that they will face years of Green activism and lawfare, not to mention negotiating the red and green tape bureaucratic morass to obtain the thousands of permits deemed necessary.

  5. I recall hearing about a NSW minister speaking at the opening of a gold mine somewhere in NSW uttering the wisdom that “you can not eat gold” or some such sentiment. I try to put myself in the shoes of the assembled mineral explorers and miners who had laid out their shareholders hard earned dough for yonks to develop those orebodies. I am not sure if the minister was chiding them for not leaving the small parcel of ratbag sheep country as it was.
    But I have heard too that similar anti-mining – pro-Food Security balderdash re Shenhua and the ag land around their Watermark coal orebody. Australian agriculture is so underdeveloped we could feed ourselves easily on a small proportion of land occupied by farmers and graziers. But the income from agriculture will in no way support our need to import Toyotas, commercial aircraft, Defence equipement, buy IPhones and computers etc, keep our property markets propped up, stop our debts from Govt disasters rising faster, pay for NBN, NDIS, Gonski, better stop there. Only the income from the resources industry goes near paying for all those things. And yet the resource industries occupy ~1% of Australia and gets by far the worst press of any industry. Go figure.

  6. Yeah, Watermark will/would occupy land marginal for agricultural use abutting the Liverpool plains. But facts won’t stop the Green/Left, anti-everything loons and certain high profile broadcasters pining for the bucolic bliss of their childhood from turning Shenhua into some kind of monster.

  7. Well we are all paying now for decades of Green and anti-mining agitprop given uncritical space to make wild claims in the MSM. Decades of near total failure by scientific and engineering and Govt experts to make rebuttals to Green rubbishy claims. I remember in the 70’s bringing harmful Green claims running in the press to attention of senior execs of noted WA mining house and they were so complacent saying to effect – “we expect the Govt will look after us”. Well that worked out well. As an example of how deep this has gone. Just think – you are watching a DVD movie or TV show on a crime or politics theme and they need a big baddie other than a South of the Border drug cartel. How often is it a Mining or Oil company?
    Its almost the knee-jerk stock standard response the producers turn to when they require a corporate baddie in the plot. Can anybody think of a Federal pollie who speaks up for the resources industry? Must be some.

  8. wazz

    > ” … senior execs of noted WA mining house and they were so complacent saying to effect – “we expect the Govt will look after us”.”

    I am far too familiar with that stupid mindset – I harangued the corporate boards for nearly two decades on the danger of the Green issue and received nothing but complacent non-answers. Even when middle class guilt started to grow, with “action” groups of doctors’ wives springing up daily and spouting clap-trap that was emotionally powerful to the uninformed populace, this complacency persisted.

    Then last year (2017) about October, the penny dropped. One of the previous nothing-to-see-here people admitted at an industry presentation that the threat had been underestimated (well, doh !!) and 2018 would see a change. A few TV ads is then what we got (and these are insipid) … I pointed out to him publicly that it was way too little and about 20 years too late.

    And so it has come to pass …

  9. As a much sickened small shareholder I shudder at the vomit material being peddled by the big but diminishing Australian in recent corporate TV advertising. It’s as though many on the board must have walked straight in from one of our “progressive” Marxist universities, having never spent a single day of their lives in a real job.
    I guess it puts them pretty much on a par with the absurd, Green garbage that emanates from rent seeking rogues like AGL.

  10. Now that the coal price has reached $106 ton the Gunnedah mine maybe commercially viable, but politically unwise.

  11. That $106 price is for steaming coal I think. Watermark has a coking component which would be a higher price. It looks to me that Shenhua has ticked all the boxes to be able to mine what they paid for a decade ago.

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