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Posts Tagged ‘Analysts’

The Reserve Bank has raised its key interest rate, making Australia the first developed nation to reverse the cycle of cuts triggered by the global financial crisis. Analysts say more increases are on the way.

Today’s 25-basis-point rise pushes the central bank’s cash rate to 3.25 per cent in a move that will add $40 to the average monthly payment for a typical $300,000 mortgage if it is passed on by commercial banks. The extra cost may stretch household budgets at a time when unemployment remains on the rise.

All four of the big banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ – said they have placed their variable interest rates under review.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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BHP Billiton says it expects initial production from WA’s first uranium mine within five years and Government approval for its multi-billion-dollar Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine expansion in South Australia by mid next year.

 BHP Billiton Uranium Australia manager of corporate affairs Richard Yeeles said today that the mining giant’s Yeelirrie uranium project near Wiluna in WA’s mid west region could be the State’s first uranium mine, with first production slated for 2014.

The project, a proposed open-cut mine, could have a life of between 20 and 40 years.

BHP Billiton and the world’s largest uranium producer, Cameco Corporation, are vying to open up the State’s first uranium mine after the Liberal government last year lifted a six-year ban on uranium mining imposed by the previous Labor government.

Canada’s Cameco and Japan’s Mitsubishi acquired Kintyre from Rio Tinto Ltd for $US495 million ($657.9 million) in July.

Another potential near-term uranium development in WA is Toro Energy’s Lake Way-Centipede project.

Mr Yeeles said BHP Billiton was liaising with the WA Government to determine a framework for approving the Yeelirrie project.

He said it was already covered by a State agreement that had been ratified by an act of State Parliament.

The agreement was secured by WMC Resources, which discovered the Yeelirrie deposit in 1972 and which was taken over by BHP Billiton in 2005.

“That agreement remains available today for BHP Billiton to undertake this project,” Mr Yeeles told a conference in Perth today.

He said the mining giant was confirming the uranium resource at the project leading up to a pre-feasibility study.

“This may be the first uranium project in WA,” Mr Yeeles said.

“We anticipate significant community unrest.

“(But) we’ve been able to demonstrate by performance (at Olympic Dam) that this is a very safe industry and hope to do the same in WA.

“Yeelirrie is taking its first steps but is another outstanding long-term opportunity.”

Uranium from the mine would be transported to Adelaide or Darwin for export, Mr Yeeles said.

BHP Billiton also said it expected its recently released environmental impact statement for the Olympic Dam expansion could be given the nod by early 2010 but more likely by mid next year.

The plan requires approval by the Federal, South Australian and Northern Territory governments, given that concentrates will be exported from Darwin.

“We assume that if the government approves this project, it will be with conditions,” Mr Yeeles said.

“Until we get the Government decision, we’re not in a position to decide where to take this project next.

“When we get (the) decisions is ultimately in the hands of the Government, but I would suggest it could be early next year.

“But given the … public submissions we expect to get, we would expect Government decisions by the middle of 2010.”

BHP Billiton would not necessarily start work on the expansion as soon as approvals were received but would take the global economic climate into account, Mr Yeeles said.

“The company is not in a position to commit to a specific timeline at this stage,” he said.

Analysts said recently that the Olympic Dam expansion could be delayed by at least two years due to the worldwide financial crisis.

Operations at Olympic Dam are expected to continue for another century under the expansion plans, which would promote it from the world’s third largest uranium mine to the world’s largest open-cut mine of any commodity.

The West Australian

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