Monday, April 8, 2013

Court to hear oil rig workers paid $3 an hour - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Court to hear oil rig workers paid $3 an hour - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
The Federal Court will today hear allegations that foreign workers were paid less than $3 an hour to work on oil rigs operated by Woodside Petroleum off Western Australia.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Hong Kong-based company Pocomwell Limited hired the four Filipino men, who were made available to the rigs by a WA oil and gas consultant.

Documents tendered to the court claim the four men worked as painters on Woodside rigs on the North West Shelf off northern WA from July 2009 until early 2011.

It says they were paid $US900 a month for working 12 hours a day, seven days a week - a rate of less than $3 an hour.

In its case before the Federal Court in Perth today, the Fair Work Ombudsman will allege the companies failed to pay the national minimum wage, allowances and overtime.

The Ombudsman is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in back pay for each man and fines against the companies that hired and supplied the workers


  1. The worst of Australias country stealing culture destroyers are high on the hog over in China,but its not all good news.
    In fact it is becoming a bit tricky for the Chinese leadership because everytime they shift their production focus it ends in over production in that area.
    So over capacity = over supply.
    Sooner or later this cold hard fact will have to be realised and China will have to scale back to match true demand.
    This will be painful for Australia and China.
    With all the terrible pollution this "wealth" has created it is now obvious the dream is broken.
    Wrong way - go back.


    Optimism over iron ore fading fast amid predictions of a surplus

    JUST as market watchers are beginning to fear over-production of iron ore in Australia and Brazil, now we've got others jumping on the bandwagon and threatening to make matters worse still.

    No wonder Morgan Stanley is predicting seaborne iron ore volumes to increase by 9.1 per cent in 2013 and overwhelming what demand is out there. And Bloomberg's survey of iron ore analysts indicates a surplus starting in 2014 and widening each year through to 2018, with prices forecast to drop to $US90 a tonne.

    And, of course, everyone will be looking -- as usual -- to China to do the heavy lifting on the consumption side. Whether that can be achieved is far from certain.

    We already know about the planned expansions by the majors in the Pilbara and by Vale in Brazil. On Friday, Atlas Iron (AGO), Brockman Mining (BCK) and Aurizon Holdings (AJZ) reported they had completed the first stage of their study to build a new rail system in the East Pilbara and port operations at Port Hedland.

    In just the past few days, there have been signals of even more iron ore coming on the market. In the southern Indian state of Karnataka, 19 iron ore mines are due to reopen soon. They were closed by the courts until they improved operating standards, and will return 30 million tonnes a year to Indian supply.

    Peru at present exports about 10 million tonnes of iron ore a year from one mine owned by China's Shougang; that company has announced it will lift output by 460 per cent by 2016. China's Ninjinzhan Group is developing a second Peruvian mine to produce 15 million tonnes a year from 2015.

    And we have Strike Resources (SRK) with its Apurimac iron ore project in Peru aiming to prove up a 500 million tonne resource by the end of the year and then seek development partners.

    Also on Friday, Centaurus Metals (CTM) said it had received a key licence for its Jambreiro iron ore project in southeast Brazil, clearing the way for construction to begin. Meanwhile, investors are losing enthusiasm for the sector. Share prices at Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP) , Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and Atlas have all taken substantial hits.

    Canaccord Genuity's Warwick Grigor says iron ore optimism is fading fast, citing the analyst predictions of a looming surplus.

    Bearish sentiment has grown.

    But there is one iron ore stock bucking the trend. Mamba Minerals in Canada's Labrador Trough which extends from Labrador into northeastern Quebec.

    Back in January, Pure Speculation drew attention to the region which then had already reached 78 billion tonnes of defined resources, has rail lines, cheap hydro power and big money, with players including Wuhan Iron & Steel, Mitsubishi, South Korea's Posco, India's Tata Steel, China Steel and Hebei Iron & Steel partnering projects.

    Last week Hebei, China's largest steelmaker, signed on the dotted line for a 25 per cent stake in the Kami iron ore project in the trough. Mamba's price rose on the news that the first diamond drill hole to test one of its four potential direct shipping ore targets hit 275m of hematite beginning just 15m below surface. DSO indicates high-grade hematite ore that needs only a relatively simple crushing and screening process before it can be exported.

    Mamba's mine is close to an area served by a 565km railway to a port on the St Lawrence Seaway.

    1. Oh dear,Colons dreams will all be in pieces too - this could get sooo messy.

    2. Iron ore prices tumble again

      From: The Australian
      April 08, 2013 12:00AM

      THE price of iron ore slipped sharply again over the weekend as concern mounted about demand from Asian steel mills.

      Prices fell to $US128 a tonne from $US135.90 at the previous close, according to data compiled by the Steel Index.

    3. Another disaster waiting to happen - Japans debt crisis.


      Last week, new BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank would inject about $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years..

      The Aussie was up 0.2 percent against the yen at 102.12 yen after rallying to 102.32 yen, its highest since July 2008.


      How long can QE and ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) continue while budget deficits add over $1 trillion to the national debt annually?

      Fed policy can't stop now. Eventually, what can't go on forever, won't.

      Global economies everywhere will be impacted. They may be like never before. Recovery will be slow and painful. People who know best say so.


      QE doesn't work. It could if properly used. It hasn't been. It's improperly used now. Boosting aggregate demand is needed. Doing so requires putting money in consumers' pockets.

      Fed-style money printing madness doesn't stimulate growth and create jobs. It flows to bank balance sheets. It's used for speculation, high salaries, big bonus, buying competitors, and consolidating to greater size.

      Helicopter Ben dropped lots of money on Wall Street. Doing so sent financial asset prices soaring. None went to Main Street where it belongs.

      Pedal-to-the-metal easing will adversely affect Japan's neighbours.


      Economist David Rosenberg calls excessive monetary easing "no panacea." It's "self-defeating." America's seeing diminishing returns.

      What's needed is "a coherent fiscal policy and the reality that a record 90 million Americans left the labor market entirely, and that 40% of the unemployed ranks have been out of work for over six months."

      It's more than double the historic norm.

      Tripling the Fed's balance sheet to $3.2 trillion did little to stimulate growth and create jobs.


      Principalis Asset Management's Pippa Malmgren said "(w)e've never seen such unconventional methods used to create as much inflation as possible."

      Monetary and economics Professor Lex Hoogduin called the effects Kuroda's easing "very difficult to control. At the same time, it will be politically very difficult to put a brake on this process. The policy can derail and can lead to distortions in the Japanese economy."


      Financial Times columnist Gavyn Davies highlighted the scale of the operation.

      “In effect,” he wrote, “the new governor … has imported into Japan the whole of the Federal Reserve’s post-Lehman balance sheet strategy, and he will implement it in under two years, instead of the five or more years taken by the Fed. The doubling in the Japanese monetary base over a period of 21 months is in itself remarkable..

      The decision will have significant international consequences. It effectively blows out of the water the decisions taken at the February meeting of the G7 nations that countries should not undertake currency devaluations in order to improve their position in export markets.


      Since last June, the yen has already fallen by 22 percent and 24 percent against the US and Australian dollars respectively. One of the countries being significantly impacted is South Korea..

      Over and above the effect of the decision on the currency wars, the new BoJ policy points to the mounting instability of the international monetary system and the deepening crisis of global capitalism.

      Decisions are now being undertaken which only a few years ago would have been ruled out as creating the conditions for a future financial catastrophe. Such is the state of the global economy that central bankers, once the bastions of financial conservatism, are operating according to the maxim: après moi le déluge.

      (After me the Deluge)


      "This was the whole thing in the 1930s. It was the antidote to Franklin Roosevelt."

      That's what they're saying 'worked.'

      "It was called World War II.

      "And that's what they're going for, World War III. Japan has got sucked into World War III."

  2. Red and Green tape must be vaporised to make these miners happy.


    Miners seek radioactive rethink

    URANIUM miners have demanded changes to laws so that the "mild" radioactivity that is unique to the sector is no longer a trigger for federal environmental assessments.

    The Australian Uranium Association -- whose members include BHP Billiton and the operator of the Ranger mine at Jabiluka in the Northern Territory, ERA -- says that uranium mining and the milling that makes yellowcake should no longer be defined as a "nuclear action" under the federal law known as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

    "Under the . . . act, the underlying assumption is that uranium mining and milling of themselves have a significant impact on the environment.

    "This assumption has never been justified. It seems that the fact of mild radioactivity is justification in itself, not requiring explanation," the association's chief executive Michael Angwin said.

    "The discriminatory treatment of the uranium industry under the EPBC Act is not necessary to manage the mild radioactivity which is the unique feature of the uranium industry."

    The comments are contained in a new submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the approvals process for major projects. The submission also asserts that state laws already deal with radiation, based on advice by the federal government's Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

    Business has been frustrated that the federal government has broken its promise last year to cut the duplication of federal and state environmental rules.

    But groups including the Australian Network of Environmental Defenders' Offices are opposed to a streamlining of environmental processes, fearing this will lead to high-risk and unsustainable developments.


    The group wants the commission to explicitly recommend the EPBC Act be amended to remove uranium mining and milling from the definition of "nuclear actions".

    "The basis for such a recommendation would be that

    the current treatment of the industry under the EPBC Act has not been justified, leads to duplication in the assessment process for uranium projects and is unnecessary, given the 'best practice' regulatory framework already in place," Mr Angwin says in the submission.

  3. China downs Japan over Oakajee fail.


    Hard feelings over China's Oakajee rebuff

    One of the world's most powerful bankers, the chairman of China's Import-Export Bank, has reopened the Oakajee wound, declaring that if his country had been awarded the WA Government rights to the crucial Mid West iron ore infrastructure, it would have been built "a long time ago".

    Speaking on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia conference, Li Ruogu also said the environment in Australia for Chinese investment "could be better", in a pointed remark about relations with Australia's most important trading partner.

    Mr Li is co-chair with Fortescue Metals Group founder Andrew Forrest of the China-Australia Senior Business Leaders Forum at Boao. Members include Woodside Petroleum chairman Michael Chaney, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, Macquarie Group boss Nicholas Moore, ANZ managing director Mike Smith and transport billionaire Lindsay Fox.

    The business leaders' forum is designed to strengthen ties between Australia and China amid widespread feeling that the relationship is not advancing and perhaps floundering. The business leaders expressed their views to Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday.

    Mr Li's comments on Oakajee illustrate the simmering tensions between China and Japan, which has the rights to build a railway to and port at Oakajee, north of Geraldton, and also the Middle Kingdom's lingering resentment with the WA Government.

    "On a number of occasions investment in some mines, because there has been no railways, no port - the investment has been a waste," Mr Li said.
    "It has already been four, five years but the railway has not been constructed."