Around the world: PNGSDP/Gold slumps/Pacific ties/nickel/Sasol/PC sales slow


World 02Morauta defends Ok Tedi and Trust

Radio Australia’s Jemima Garrett assesses the eight page document published by Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Ltd Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta last week, the organisation’s response to ‘a number of positive and negative public statements have been made about the future of mining at Ok Tedi and about PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd.’

Gold miners await G20 meeting after price slump

The price of gold slumped to US$1593 an ounce this week, after poor economic data out of China and Japan’s monetary policy. Newcrest Mining’s share price tumbled 8.2% on the ASX.

The Melbourne Age quotes Thomas Averill at Rochford Capital, saying gold could recover after the US and other countries confronts Japan over monetary easing at the G20 meeting this week.

Call for closer Australian-Pacific ties

The Australian reports that former Australian Defence Chief General Peter Cosgrove, now Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, has called for Australia ‘to contemplate a closer and interdependent economic relationship with the countries of the Pacific.’

In a lecture in Melbourne on Australia’s own food security, Cosgrove said that Australia was at present the region’s major supermarket in an economic sense. Rather than the prevailing ‘take it or leave it’ relationship with the Pacific, he said, it should consider the objectives and operations of the European Union as a starting point for increased cooperation going forward.

Massive New Caledonian nickel mine on-stream

As anticipated in our New Caledonia feature last month, New Caledonia’s US$5 billion Koniambo nickel plant has now gone into production after six years of construction.

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In a statement on the company’s website, Xstrata Nickel CEO Ian Pearce said:

‘We are on track to deliver the full production rate of 60,000 tonnes per annum by the end of 2014 as scheduled, while maintaining excellence in terms of environmental and safety performance at this world-class industrial complex.’

Sasol’s withdrawal from PNG

The Financial Times‘beyondbrics’ blog suggests that the decision of South African firm Sasol to pull out of PNG after five years of gas exploration was down to its ‘stretched balance sheet’.

PC manufacturers a victim of their own success

Do you keep putting off replacing your PC? It seems there has never been less incentive to do so.