The South Australian Government has formed a team of commercial and investment experts aimed at attracting investment to South Australia and help maximise the economic benefits flowing from major infrastructure projects.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the Invest in South Australia team would be established within the newly formed Department for Manufacturing, Industry, Trade Resources and Energy and draw on crossgovernment resources to drive investment attraction in the State.

Invest in South Australia  is a response to a recommendation by the Economic Development Board and will be overseen by the Board’s deputy chair, Kevin Osborn.

Chevron Australia has announced the signing of two major gas contracts in Western Australia.

BHP Billiton will be free to commence its Olympic Dam expansion after the South Australian Government passed legislation in support of the plan.

New data released by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) shows that investment in Australia’s mining industry has soared 34 per cent in the April to October 2011 period, topping $231.8 billion.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of the Resources Sector Supplier Advisory Forum as part of the $34.4 million Buy Australian at Home and Abroad program.

The Queensland Government is planning to implement nest egg legislation that will see Queensland children born after July 1, 2012 earn a trust fund valued between $7800 and $9500 by the time they turn 18.

Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) has been announced as Australia’s best port and terminal operator at the 2011 Lloyds Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.

Rio Tinto has expressed its confidence in its continual growth  despite the ongoing market turmoil in Europe, with the mining giant operating at full production and export capacity.

BHP Billiton has announced changes to its senior executive team, with Alex Vanselow, Group Executive and Chief Financial Officer, retiring from his position as of the end of February, 2012.

The Middlemount Rail Spur, which directly links the  Middlemount Coal Project to the Goonyella rail network, has officially commenced operations allowing exports through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT).

Construction, civil and mining contracting specialist Watpac has announced a record $2.3 billion portfolio as the company moves to expand further its mining services and construction projects around the country.

The Federal Government’s Minerals Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) has passed the lower house in a late-night deal struck between the government and the Federal Greens.

The Federal Government has awarded nine new offshore permits in the second round of the 2010 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release to enable petroleum exploration investment worth $380 million in waters off Western Australia.

The Federal Government has promised stronger national regulatory frameworks to assess the impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) on the environment in a bid to win key independent’s vote on the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT).

Mineral and Metals Group has commenced its $22 million expansion of its Golden Grove copper open pit operations.

Western Australian company Strategic Marine has staked a claim in the burgeoning Queensland LNG sector, winning two major fabrication contracts with John Holland.

Under the contracts, Strategic Marine will provide design, fabrication and engineering works for John Holland’s material offloading facilities at the Queensland Curtis LNG Project (QCLNG) and the Gladstone LNG Project (GLNG).

The QCLNG and GLNG projects will use world-first technology to process coal seam gas (CSG) into liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Strategic Marine Chairman Mark Newbold said the company’s goal to become a key supplier in the booming Australian resource and energy sectors, both in WA and Queensland was now very much a reality.

"These contracts have enabled us to accelerate plans for establishing a facility in QLD to service the CSG industry, as well as the regional oil and gas industry, including neighbouring countries like Papua New Guinea," Mr Newbold said.

"We have also recently established a new operation in Karratha, in the north west of WA, which will provide clients with rapid response marine services around the clock."

Mr Newbold said Strategic Marine aimed to establish a significant stake in the Fabrication, Engineering and Marine Services sectors through out the Asia Pacific region.

"The board is committed to the diversification of the Strategic Marine Group’s global operations. In fact we are in the final stages of officially launching two new divisions within the organisation, the Marine Service Division and the Fabrication and Engineering Division.

"Each division will provide a number of synergistic benefits to the group, complementing and building on the success of our global ship building division."

Strategic Marine celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, growing from a Geraldton-based crayfishing boat builder to a multi-million dollar Australian marine vessels manufacturer with global operations spanning four countries.

Gasification developer Carbon Energy’s rights issue has raised $8.2 million – a $2.2 million shortfall on the capital raising.

Carbon Energy this week announced it had received applications for 68.7 million shares for a total value of $8.2 million under the 1 for 8 non-renounceable rights issue.

This represents a takeup of 79 percent by shareholders.

The Brisbane-based company said it anticipated placing the shortfall in the next three months, lifting the gross proceeds to $10.4 million.

Funds raised are additional to the $10 million convertible loan facility between Carbon Energy and Pacific Road Capital.

Carbon Energy was incorporated in 2006 as a joint venture between Metex and the CSIRO and Others to develop and commercialise the underground gasification of coal deposits.

The company’s aim is to build a world-class business that produces clean energy and chemicals from UCG Syngas.

Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited (Australia Pacific LNG) and The Kansai Electric Power Company (Kansai Electric) have signed a binding Heads of Agreement for the sale and purchase of approximately 1 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years.

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) are working with the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation  (NQBP) to create an Australian first “advanced technology” coal terminal Dudgeon Point on the Central Queensland coast.

The Federal Government is divided over the proposal of resuming uranium exports to India, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing her support of the amendment.

Mining giant Rio Tinto is set to become the owner of the largest fleet of driverless trucks after signing a deal with Komatsu.

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