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Friday, April 23, 2010

BHP Billiton declined to comment on reports

Daily Postcast
Edited by: Shannon De Ryhove

BHP Billiton declined to comment on reports that an anti-corruption probe it is facing from the US Securities and Exchange Commission involves a former bauxite exploration project in Cambodia.

BHP has revealed that it's the subject of an SEC investigation over potential violations of anti-graft laws tied to old mining exploration projects. BHP said only that the matter didn't involve China.

The case follows the jailing in China last month of staff from rival Rio Tinto for bribery and comes as the two mining giants seek regulatory approval for their controversial 116-billion-dollar Australian joint venture.

Australian newspapers, relying on a 2009 report by Global Witness, a non-governmental organisation seeking to expose corruption in the resources sectors, speculated the probe involved a joint venture to explore for bauxite in Cambodia.

West Australian mining representative bodies have welcomed Premier Colin Barnett's decision to maintain gold royalties at their current levels.

This comes as Barnett announced in Parliament that he wouldn't increase gold royalties in this year's budget.

Barnett's proposal to raise royalties for all commodities in next month's budget attracted widespread criticism from the industry, especially the gold sector, which argued that the state would jeopardise future investments.

Western Australia reportedly considered a doubling of gold royalties to 5%.

Also making headlines:

Brazil-based Vale's Goro nickel mine is still delayed.
JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore lifts its first quarter output to 11,5-million-tons.
ThyssenKrupp attacks iron-ore miners for the price hike.
And, West-Africa focused African Aura raises 11-million-pounds for its Liberia and Cameroon projects.

That's a round up of news making headlines today.


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