KARRATHA, Australia, June 14 (Reuters) – Lucille Lievaux, a
25-year-old French geologist, commutes to work on a plane, a
1,300-km journey from Australia’s Indian Ocean city of Perth to
the mining town of Karratha, a smudge of suburbia on the
continent’s barren northwest coast.
Slim, blonde and passionate about her job, she sits in
Karratha’s busy single-storey airport, waiting for a jet to take
her home. She has swapped her hard-hat and orange-striped
overalls for a short-sleeved cotton top, jeans and sneakers.
Wearing her sunglasses like a hair-band, she looks out of place
in a departure lounge crowded mostly with unshaven men.
Only the dirt beneath her short fingernails and tanned,
weathered hands would suggest she has something in common.
“Australia is like an El Dorado,” says Lievaux, who came a
year ago on a holiday. She now nets $5,000 a month, working two
weeks out of every three at the Whim Creek prospect, an old
open-cut copper mine dug out of the red rocky plain.
“It’s so easy, so easy to find a job here as a geologist.”
And it’s so hard for Australia to find enough workers like
Lievaux to sustain its mining boom. The tightening labour market
is driving up wages, and combined with the resurgent Aussie
dollar, is putting pressure on the entire manufacturing sector.
PERTH/NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) – Spot prices of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) in Asia were seen closing in on $14.00 per
million British thermal units (mmBtu) the highest seen in the
spot market this year, from about $13.60 last week, on summer
demand and sustained imports by Japan, traders said.
“Offers are clearly above $14.00 per mmBtu, but I haven’t
seen any transactions at that level. I think for now we have
reached a maximum price, but you never know,” one Asia-based
PERTH, June 8 (Reuters) – Miners at Australia’s BHP Billiton
Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), the world’s biggest exporter of
metallurgical coal, voted on Wednesday to strike, likely early
next week, a union official said on Wednesday.
“Monday and Tuesday, it looks like strike action is going to
take place … 4,000 workers are going to take strike,” an
official for the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union
PERTH, June 8 (Reuters) – Australia’s thermal coal prices
rose slightly in the week to Tuesday, but stayed in the recent
range below $120 per tonne as the market looked to a recovery in
Thermal coal on the globalCOAL Newcastle index for the week
to date was $118.43 per tonne on Tuesday, up 93 cents from
$117.50 a week earlier, but down from $119.34 on Friday.
PERTH (Reuters) – Brent crude slipped toward $115 a barrel on Monday on concern about demand after disappointing jobs data from top consumer United States, but a softer dollar and political upheaval in the Middle East limited losses.
The possibility that OPEC will raise supply when ministers meet this week also put pressure on prices. Gulf Arab members led by Saudi Arabia will push for a rise, but were likely to face opposition from OPEC’s leading hawks Iran and Venezuela.
PERTH, June 2 (Reuters) – Asia’s thermal coal markets were
focused on Chinese demand as the world’s largest coal consumer
faces what is expected to be the worst power shortage in years.
Chinese buyers have been in the market for both Indonesian
and Australian coal as domestic prices in the world’s largest
coal producing country have shot up.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 31 (Reuters) – Coal producers in
Indonesia and Australia are racing to ramp up output to capture
Asia’s booming demand for power that has quickly filled the gap
left by a drop in demand from quake-hit Japan, executives at a
conference said on Tuesday.
Exports of coal from Indonesia, the world’s top exporter of
thermal coal used to fuel power stations, were diverted to China
in the wake of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in
March, showing the hunger of the rest of Asia to soak up
available spot cargoes.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 31 (Reuters) – South Korea’s East
West Power (EWP) is looking to increase coal imports from the
United States as it looks to diversify its supply sources from
Indonesia and Australia to manage rising coal costs, a company
executive said on Tuesday.
South Korean utilities, or gencos, have looked farther
afield as prices in the Pacific basin for coal from the world’s
two largest coal exporters, Indonesia and Australia have risen,
Jason Jang, EWP’s head of fuel procurement told Reuters on the
sidelines of an industry conference.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 31 (Reuters) – Indonesia will lead
global growth in thermal coal exports in the next decade with
producers Bumi Resources and Adaro Energy
becoming two of the top three coal exporting companies worldwide
by 2015, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country, already the world’s top thermal
coal exporter, will make up 39 percent of global increases in
coal exports, with Australia coming in a close second,
accounting for 36 percent of export growth.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 30 (Reuters) – Top coal consumer
China should see import demand more than double in the next four
years and India will be close behind as both hoover up supplies
on international markets to feed rapidly growing power
industries, industry executives said on Monday.
China’s thermal coal imports could rise to 200 million
tonnes in 2015 from around 90 million tonnes in 2011, Neil Dhar,
executive vice president of trading house Noble Group ,
told the Coaltrans Asia conference.