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By Simon Hartley

The global sharemarkets for gold stocks can be uninspiring these days until someone throws up a takeover rumour. Is it a kite, or is it real?

By Simon Hartley

The June quarter current account deficit had a very sour milk taste to it.

By Simon Hartley

Bill English loved the GDP figures but David Parker thought otherwise. Anyone would think there was an election around the corner.

By Dene Mackenzie

The election of the next government is now only a day away and our political columnist listened in to the last television debate of the two key leaders.

By Dene Mackenzie

Electoral promises may prove to be flimsy affairs but the amount of money they involve is certainly not.

By Dene Mackenzie

Columnist Dene Mackenzie has been following the electoral campaigns and sees a consensus showing National having the best barrier to be first past the post. The positioning of other contenders will be critical.

Another regional environment group is looking at putting restrictions on the quality of coal that can be used in its area for domestic purposes.

Includes following attachments:
- Proposed Regional Air Plan 2014 (544.4 kilobytes)

There were several executive changes announced yesterday by Contact Energy.

Recent News

Gold News

The established hard rock gold miners in New Zealand are throwing their weight behind the research programmes to be spearheaded by GNS Science to identify new gold mines in the country.

An assessment by a leading New Zealand stockbroker indicates a significant improvement in the gold price could be critical for future gold mining in Otago and on the West Coast.

One of the great problems when anti miners take to print and the air waves is that truth can be warped and this may well be the case of OceanaGold’s bid to get its gold permit in El Salvador back on the rails.

As New Talisman moves closer to production testing it has appointed a “virtual” chief financial officer and found a new company secretary.

With the Philippines operation now one of the top performing global gold operations, OceanaGold is advancing planning to go underground there, probably using some of its NZ underground miners.

Oil & Gas News

An independent expert review on the performance of Refining New Zealand for both its shareholders and customers has now been released.

One of the London-listed junior petroleum explorers has raised fresh capital that will go into its exploration wells on the South Island.

The exploration well in the East Coast Basin for TAG Oil created too many challenges and the company will focus near-term drilling back in the Taranaki.

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals’ Dr Brad Ilg had some keen listeners when he detailed the new Block Offer to delegates at an oil and gas conference in Western Australia.

One of the New Zealand oil and gas producers made it known at a major petroleum conference in Western Australia yesterday that it had the hook out for more partners on its exploration portfolio in NZ.

Coal, Lignite & CSG/CBM News

While the market is still glum about global coking coal prices, New Zealand’s aspiring new miner Bathurst is progressing market offtake discussions with some of the world’s biggest steelmakers.

AusIMM president Geoff Sharrock (left) presents the Lloyd Jones Award to Bob Brathwaite.

The feeling was strong in Greymouth yesterday when family members of some of the men who died in the Pike River mine tragedy gathered to protest to Prime Minister Key on a visit to the West Coast.

The never ending claims by Forest & Bird against a planned new coal project on the Denniston Plateau hit a new sour note that brought the Conservation Minister out punching.

The prolonged entombment of the bodies of 29 men who died in the Pike River mine disaster years ago is upsetting some of the grieving families and produced an understandable response yesterday.

Other Metals & Minerals News

An extension of several months has been given to a private company planning to fully acquire a mineral sands project on the West Coast.

Well known Kiwi geologist Julian Hanna who spoke at the AusIMM NZ Mining Conference in Hamilton returned to Perth to talk about his company’s other key project to another conference.

Chatham Rock Phosphate has detailed the extent of its submissions and responses to queries from the Environmental Protection Authority for its now high-profile push to get consents to mine for seafloor phosphate.

Yet another capital raising has been announced by Chatham Rock Phosphate in its quest to raise adequate capital for its seabed phosphate mining project.

Steelmaker BlueScope Steel is emerging from the sea of red that beset its Australian operations in recent years, and one of the white knights was NZ Steel.

Renewable Energy News

One of the largest listed energy suppliers has completed a capital investment to advance renewable energy but sees challenges ahead with a competitive market and a market nationalisation move by Labour and the Greens.

One of the semi privatised electricity generators had a good August though it saw some of its hydro capacity drop early in September.

The build up of wind powered generation by one major New Zealand company has helped not only Wellingtonians but energy users across the ditch.

If Kiwis consider New Zealand is the world capital of geothermal energy they should look at a recent study that shows where else in the world it is now a growing form of energy development.

Last year New Zealand hosted and promoted a conference to boost renewable energy in Pacific nations and a race course in Samoa is now a showcase for one of these developments.

Environment News

The Government this week had five new marine parks on the West Coast officially declared.

A large area of high country in Otago has become New Zealand’s largest conservation covenant.

The energy, minerals and environment research and consulting company CRL Energy has won the Environment Award at this year’s Minerals West Coast Conference.

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter may be Southland’s major employer but its operator has for more than two decades played a pivotal role in preserving the endangered kapako – the world’s biggest parrot.

The wait is over. A marine reserve has been designated for a section of Banks Peninsula.

Education, Science & Technology News

The remarkable history and production performance of the Hauraki goldfield has been a lure for geoscientists, students and the growing number of tourists providing an added economic prop for the region.

In the visiting professor programme that has proved popular in New Zealand, a Canadian academic will detail the area in Europe where the Romans won most of their gold in the 1st and 2nd centuries.

Research at a New Zealand university could pave the way for a harnessing a waste material for renewable energy.

GNS Science continues to monitor New Zealand’s most active volcano following some relatively shallow quakes near it late last week.

A PhD student at Canterbury University is working on a new form of supercapacitor to harness energy.

Economics, Politics & Government News

The full impact of the DotCom conspiracy that took in Julian Assange and Edward Snowden may be felt in Saturday’s election but the impression with Monday night’s grand event was that it was not earth shattering.

A carbon tax, years ago cited as a penalty on sheep farts, has raised its ugly head again and a relevant Government minister is not impressed by the proposal.

Just who will Winston Peters get into a political bed with, and what party would he spurn?

When returning to Dunedin yesterday did the Prime Minister again have to go into damage control over conspiracy theories? The National’s campaign leader didn’t think so.

For the two main party leaders Wednesday face-to-face television debate could be critical as next Saturday’s election is nearing and Kim Dotcom is producing new conspiracy theories.

Other News

Infratil is shedding two major Australian assets it had nurtured and may be on the hunt for new acquisitions.

A new NZIER survey shows the economy is coming off the top but it won’t see any concerning nosedives, though perhaps the Kiwi dollar may lose strength.

At a time when most Kiwis are being asked to vote for a particular party or parties one other lobby group is promoting electric vehicles.

One of New Zealand’s most knowledgeable figures on mine safety issues will be guest speaker at the next AusIMM Christchurch group meeting.

A major union has raised concerns about what will happen next following the move to privatise Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.