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Queensland business briefs: Your daily Sunshine State update


The latest business news on Rex, Superior, Terracom, AustChina, LPE, Pure Battery Technologies, Peabody, CleanCo, Fiji Kava, Michael Hill, BoQ, Audeara, Glencore, Red River, People Infrastructure, Youfoodz, Terracom, Cromwell, PPK,

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Rex holds off Qld return

Rex will restart domestic aviation services on November 15 in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra but will hold off a return to Queensland and South Australia until vaccination rates reach the 80 per cent level.

Regional intrastate flight in NSW and Victoria would also be progressively ramped up from November 15.

Superior gets golden results

Oct 18: Superior Resources has found “an abundance” of high grade gold intersections at the Steam Engine project in north Queensland.

It included a near-surface intersection of one metre averaging 115.2 grams per tonne of gold.

The huge grades are not uncommon. Previous intersections included 184 grams per tonne.

Managing director Peter Hwang said the deeper the company drilled “the better the lodes become”.


Blair Athol at bumper margins

Oct 18: Terracom said its Blair Athol mine had produced an EBITDA in September of $17.2 million. It said coal sales were at 170,000 tonnes and a cash operating margin of $101 a tonne.

Coal sales revenue for the month were $177 a tonne and forecast revenue for the December quarter was at $230 a tonne. If that price was achieved it expected a quarterly margin of $140 a tonne.

AustChina looks at coal tech

Oct 15: AustChina Holdings has started due diligence with Fortress Capital on technology that converts solid fuel such as coal, waste and biomass to generate cleaner electricity.

It said the process had the potential to reduce carbon emissions and utilise municipal household and commercial waste that would otherwise go into landfill.

It expects the due diligence to be completed by January 2022. If it goes ahead with the deal AustChina would secure exclusive rights to the rights to the technology in Australia, the Middle East as well as have first right of refusal in other jurisdictions.

Big jump in customer numbers

Oct 14: Energy retailer LPE said it had reached 43,500 customers in the September quarter, an increase of 30 per cent from the same time last year.

The bulk of new customers were high value strata communities and embedded network customers.

Many of the new customers were “takeovers” from competitors.

It expected to add another 10,000 customers in 2022.

Qld battery company looks to WA

Oct 14: Pure Battery Technologies is planning a $460 million battery materials refinery in WA to feed the demand for electric vehicles.

The refinery is planned to produce 50,000 tonnes a year of precursor cathode materials which would be enough for 1 million lithium-ion EV batteries.

A financial investment decision is expected in the third quarter of 2022.

North Goonyella actions after fire

Oct 14: Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) has cancelled the statutory certificates of competency of two former officials at North Goonyella coal mine, finalising an enforcement process relating to an underground fire that occurred at the mine in 2018.

This enforcement action follows the Queensland Mines Inspectorate’s (QMI) investigation of the incident at the Peabody-operated mine and a statutory process under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999.

On September 1, 2018, all workers were withdrawn from the underground workings at the mine as a precautionary measure in response to rising carbon monoxide levels at the longwall. In the hours that followed, the mine’s spontaneous combustion triggers were reached, escalating the risk of an underground explosion. This culminated in an underground fire.

Upon cancellation of the individuals’ certificates of competency, they may not be employed in the safety critical position of underground mine manager in any Queensland coal mine.

CleanCo signs up with Sumitomo

Oct 13: Government owned renewable energy generator CleanCo has signed an agreement to join Sumitomo Corporation and its partners on the development of a hydrogen industry in Gladstone.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the agreement was another piece in the development of the Queensland renewable hydrogen ecosystem and the decent, secure jobs it is creating for Queenslanders.

“This agreement will support that goal with hydrogen set to be a major player in our energy mix, creating jobs and opportunities particularly in regional Queensland,” he said.

Fiji Kava hits milestone

Brisbane based Fiji Kava has completed the first tranche of funding under its deal with Chemist Warehouse.

The deal included Chemist Warehouse receiving 12.9 million shares in Fiji Kava and saw its products on the shelves of the retail and pharmacy chain.

Chief executive Anthony Noble said the company’s recent record quarterly results were largely due to the strong sales though Chemist Warehouse.

Canada booms for Michael Hill

Oct 13: Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International said its same-store sales for the September quarter were up 15.5 per cent against the same period last year and strategic initiatives underpinned margin growth 100 to 200 basis points in all markets and channels.

In Canada, same store sales jumped 17.7 per cent  after all 86 stores were re-opened.

Chief executive Daniel Bracken said “Canada has been flying” as the company delivered reached nine consecutive quarters of same-store growth.

BoQ grabs AMP executive

Oct 13: Bank of Queensland has appointed former AMP chief risk officer Dr Jenny Fagg to its board.

The appointment means the bank’s refresh and retirement cycle was now complete and non-executive directors had been reduced from 10 to seven. Six directors had retired and three new appointments had been made.

Chairman Patrick Alloway said Fagg had more than 25 years of executive experience across Australia’s financial services sector.

Audeara growth jumps

Brisbane-based Audeara said it earned cash receipts for the September quarter of $397,000, a record for the company and an increased of 47 per cent, year-on-year.

The company produces high technology headphones for the hearing impaired. It raised $7 million in an IPO earlier this year.

It has also announced that its headphones would now be stocked in Amplifon stores across Australia.

Glencore signs up for Thalanga

Oct 12: Mining giant Glencore has agreed to take all the copper concentrate produced at Red River’s Thalanga mine in north Queensland until June 2023.

Managing director Mel Palancian said the deal adds to an existing relationship with Glencore started in 2017.

The Thalanga operations produced 14 million tonnes of copper concentrate last financial year.

New boss for People

Oct 11: People Infrastructuring has appointed former RPS boss Ross Thompson as its chief executive.

Thompson was chief executive of the RPS Australia-Asia Pacific business. He also held executive roles at Brisbane based engineering firm Cardno.

The appointment means Declan Sherman, who had been People’s interim chief executive, will transition to executive director.

Youfoodz gets shareholder support

Oct 8: Youfoodz shareholders have overwhelmingly backed a takeover offer from HelloFresh.

At a meeting today the Scheme of Arrangement process was endorsed by 94 per cent of voting shareholders and 99.87 per cent of shareholders were in favour of the scheme resolution.

The scheme is now subject to Federal Court approval and if accepted, the orders will be lodged with ASIC. It expects this to happen on October 13 after which Youfoodz shares will disappear from the ASX.

Terracom shares return

Oct 8: Terracom shares jumped 9 per cent this morning after returning from suspension with news that it had secured support from its bondholders.

The Queensland coal producer had been suspended because of a delay in the process which it said had been caused by its senior staff contracting Covid as well as travel quarantines.

At the same time, it was negotiating with bondholders over refinancing its debt to December 2022.

Cromwell gets a new boss

Oct 8: Property fund Cromwell has appointed Jonathan Callaghan as managing director.

Callaghan comes from Investa and had been hired earlier this year as chief executive officer. However, he was appointed to the company board on Thursday.

WGL and Sun Metals team up

October 5: PPK subsidiary White Graphene will enter a deal with Sun Metals, in Townsville, which produces sulpheric acid along with refined zinc.

The suphuric acid, however, has an impact on the Sun Metals equipment and often it has to be replaced just months after installation.

The agreement between the two companies will include research and development of a new composite protective coating using the boron nitrate nano sheets, known as white graphene.

The coatings are expected to protect the equipment.

White Graphene Ltd will retain the intellectual property rights.

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