Rio Tinto has acquired a majority interest in Riversdale Mining Ltd delivering control of significant tier one coking coal projects. Rio Tinto’s shareholding in Riversdale passed 50% and may increase further with the takeover offer remaining open until 20 April 2011.

Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Doug Ritchie, chief development officer (coal) Matt Coulter and Rio Tinto Australia managing director David Peever have been appointed to the Riversdale board. Additional board appointments are expected to follow, recognising Rio Tinto’s new majority shareholding.

Mr Ritchie said he acknowledged Riversdale’s achievement in developing greenfield projects from scratch which reflected well upon the directors and management of the business.

The Queensland Government has launched an environmental impact study of the proposed $1.5 billion Byerwen coal mine in the Central Highlands.

The Australian Government has released the largest offshore petroleum exploration acreage in more than a decade, comprising 29 areas across nine basins off the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Announcing the release at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association's annual conference in Perth, Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said that stakeholder nominations had underpinned every area in the 2011 release, with most receiving multiple nominations.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has released an independent study outlining potential global greenhouse gas benefits associated with Australia expanding its liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Shanghai-based Baosteel Group has partnered with The University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Monash University, and the University of Wollongong to establish the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre.

The coal seam gas industry in Queensland is growing rapidly but without research to understand the impact on rural communities and the environment, a group on the Darling Downs says.

The most recent round of the State Government’s co-funded drilling program has again attracted significant interest from resource companies eager to explore Western Australia’s greenfields or underexplored areas. 

John Holland has secured a three-year $144 million mining services contract with Anglo American's metallurgical coal business at Lake Lindsay and Oak Park surface coal mine operations near Middlemount, in central Queensland.

BHP Billiton has announced its planned expansion of the Olympic Dam site has progressed into the feasibility study phase, which will be followed by the project's Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and formal assessment by the Commonwealth, South Australian and Northern Territory governments.

An overview of key themes from Treasury’s Business Liaison Program, held in February and March,  has noted that the economy’s continuing strength has been underpinned by the mining sector, with strong external demand for resources exports and a range of major mining investment projects underway and in the pipeline.

Enhanced Biogenic Methane (EBM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Regal Resources, is conducting a pilot project in Victoria for its biogenic methane enhancement (BME) technology.

Economic Analyst, BIS Shrapnel, has released its annual study on the outlook for the civil engineering construction sector in Australia, finding that the sector is growing strongly, with 25% growth forecast for the next three years due to mining, LNG and flood reconstruction activity.

New software developed by ANSTO’s materials engineering specialists is aiming to help coal-fired power stations improve their efficiency and sustain a reliable output.

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