Business

Slow coal market means razor gangs for BHP

THE razor gangs haunting Queensland mining projects aren't leaving anytime soon with BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers saying coal prices would be unlikely to return to the boom times of years past.

In a speech overnight at the company's annual general meeting in London, Mr Kloppers said the first decade of the new millenium was a time for creating mines that took advantage of historically high mineral prices.

To explain, the spot price of coal reached almost $200 per tonne in September 2008. But four years later the price was often struggling to stay about $80.

Prices are expected to improve as cheaper coal supplies start to run out, but Mr Kloppers said BHP - which included its coal alliance with Mitsubishi as BMA - would be restrained in its spending.

"We do not anticipate a repeat of the record prices experienced over the past decade," Mr Kloppers said.

"Those who sit at the low end of the cost curve, who are able to expand production in a timely and disciplined fashion, and who can invest in the right portfolio of commodities can indeed do well in this environment."

He described the mothballing of both the Gregory open-cut and Norwich Park mines in Central Queensland as the company remained in hot pursuit of savings.

"In the last financial year we took decisive and proactive action to ensure our businesses remain at the lower end of the cost curve," he said.

"This includes the closure of several higher cost operations and the commencement of a significant and targeted cost reduction program across the group."

He also repeated previous comments that state and federal governments needed to help keep company costs down.BHP Billiton reported a US$15.4 billion annual profit across the group earlier this year.

Topics:  coal mining cost cutting job cuts marius kloppers mining



"Eco-cretins" sabotage shark nets, risk swimmers' lives

A blacktip shark caught in a shark net at the end of last year.

Since 2015, there have been 22 shark attacks in New South Wales.

Best hotel in the world found in Cabarita

FIRST CLASS: Cabarita Beach's Halcyon House has taken out the top gong for best hotel in the world.

Halcyon House named best hotel.

Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1

YOU'RE FIRED: A car burns on Pacific Motorway at Wooyung after police deployed road spikes to end a pursuit that began at South Grafton.

Jail time for teen who led police on car chase.

Local Partners

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ocean views of Coolangatta

1405/3 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Check out this week's feature property.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Expansion plan pays off

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Investrent Property Management are going from strength to strength after opening an office in Murwillumbah.

Murwillumbah move a winner for property management team

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!