The Northern Territory news Wed 22 Feb 2012
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.ntnews.com.au Wednesday, February 22, 2012. NT NEWS. 21 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:22-FGE:21 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Shockwaves hit Arafura mine plan Whyalla rare earths map RARE EARTHS Cerium: mainly used to produce polishing powders for glass and computer screens. Lanthanum: the lightest of the rare earths, it is a silvery white elementmainly used in petroleum cracking catalysts, camera lenses andmobile phones. Praseodymium: used inmagnets, welders goggles and as a yellow pigment in ceramics. Samarium: used in themovie industry for studio lighting and projection, in painkillers for cancer and lasers. Europium: used in television sets, computer monitors and fluorescent lamps. Gadolinium: used tomake colour television tubes, compact discs and computer memory and X-rays. Dysprosium: used in lasers and MRI medical procedures. Yttrium: used tomake artificial diamonds andwater-resistant material for themining industry. Thorium: seen as the nuclear fuel of the future produces nuclear power but, unlike uranium, is not fissile; also used in aircraft engines. Steve Ward has resigned as managing director of Arafura Resources, which extracts rare earth minerals from unprocessed ore THE Territorys most glamorous mining project is in crisis. Arafura Resources has suffered three major blows at the Nolans Bore rare earths mine near Alice Springs in quick succession: IT IS struggling to raise enough money for the Nolans Bore rare earths mine. FIVE directors, including its managing director Steve Ward, have resigned. STUDIES have identified more technical issues that would take additional time and funds to resolve. Arafura last year put back its feasibility study into the project by up to a year. It was then forced to cancel a onefor-three rights issue to raise $74 million to complete the study after its share price fell well below the offer price. The companys largest shareholder, East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau, is known to be unhappy with the delays. Arafura has now scrapped plans for the feasibility study. The company said it would focus instead on resolving technical problems and finding project partners. Arafuras prospects seemed much brighter early last year. It disappointed Territorians by announcing that the rare earths would not be processed in the NT. The ore would be freighted south by train to a $1 billion plant located in Whyalla. China then boosted the projects prospects by announcing that it would restrict exports of rare earths. The Peoples Republic is the biggest producer of rare earths in the world and its decision threatened to exacerbate a shortage of the minerals. Despite the name, rare earths are not rare but they are rarely economical to mine. The minerals are used in many hi-tech processes, including electronics, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. Arafura hopes to mine about 850,000 tonnes of ore a year from an open pit to a depth of about 75m. The project is expected to operate for at least 20 years. 22 Upmarket development 25 Mid-week real estate 26 Howtoget a better loan Banks caught out on funding costs CANBERRA: Funding costs for local banks are falling despite their protests to the contrary, according to research from large French bank Societe Generale. In the past fortnight, all of Australias major domestic banks have cited rising funding costs as the reason they were lifting their lending interest rates despite the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) leav ing the cash rate unchanged in February. Societe Generale Asia head of interest rate strategy Christian Carrillo yesterday said the banks claims about higher funding costs could not be confirmed. What we have seen over the past six months is overall funding costs for Australian banks actually come down, he told ABC Radio. Research suggests that, effectively, every source of funding that they use in terms of domestic deposits short-term funding, onshore long-term funding, onshore shortterm funding has actually gone down. Local banks have increased their reliance on domestic markets, in particular deposits, since the global financial crisis in late 2008. Deposits supplied around 60 per cent of the banks funding costs nowadays, Mr Carrillo said. Their deposits rates have effectively fallen more than RBA cash rate since the beginning of 2011. Consumer advocacy group Choice said the analysis from Societe Generale poked holes in the key arguments the banks had used to justify their recent rate rises. MARKET SNAPSHOT CURRENCY WhatyourAussieDollarwas worthyesterday: BUY SELL USdollar 1.1088 1.0331 Canadian 1.1067 1.0030 UKSterling 0.7022 0.6445 Euro 0.8462 0.7699 NZDollar 1.3221 1.2160 HKDollar 8.6646 7.9224 Singapore 1.4083 1.2607 Yen 91.32 80.62 PNGKina 2.5809 1.8411 SARand 8.5902 7.6606 IndonRph Onapp 8613.63 SwissFr 1.0398 0.9305 Fijian 1.9456 1.7351 Philippine Onapp 40.70 Malaysian Onapp 2.8848 ThaiBaht 34.48 28.99 Ratesare for travellerschequesonly.Suppliedbythe CommonwealthBankasacommunityservice.Rates aresubject tochange. INTERESTRATES 30-Daybankbills 4.33% 60-Daybankbills 4.34% 90-Daybankbills 4.35% 180-Daybankbills 4.45% Unofficial cashrates: (11am) 4.25% INDICES LAST CHG AllOrds 4368.20 +35.40 S&P/ASX200 4291.20 +35.10 S&P/ASXSmallOrds 2481.10 +28.10 DowJones 12949.8701+45.79 Nasdaq 2951.78 -8.07 HangSeng 21424.8 -66.82 EuroTop100 2269.22 +14.71 Nikkei 9485.09 +100.92 FTSE-100 5945.25 +40.18 RESOURCES $US last CHG Gold 1733.5 +10.31 Silver 33.56/oz +0.34 Oil 105.18 +1.58 Copper 8230.5/t +61.50 Zinc 1960.5/t +35.75 Lead 2020.75/t +5.75 Aluminium 2135.25/t +13.75 Uranium $52/t n/a ONTHEMONEY MichaelGorman Fundmanager CFSRetailPropertyTrust Recentevidencesuggests that consumersarebeing increasingly selectivewith their discretionary expenditureandmanyare taking advantageof thestrong Australiandollar to travel overseas STOCKTOWATCH FLIGHTCENTRE Theairfarebookingexperthas reportedadouble-digit lift in firsthalfnetprofit andupgradedprofit guidancefor thefull year. Shares wereup77cat$21.50
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