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Disputed: Taiping Island, in the South China Sea. Office of the President of Taiwan

Business Briefing: Trouble in the South China Sea

Business Briefing: Trouble in the South China Sea. The Conversation14.1 MB (download)
The international court ruling against China's expansion in the South China Sea puts Australia in a tricky situation.
Mineral processing tailings are pumped into a storage facility. Are there still valuable commodities in this waste?

Treasure from trash: how mining waste can be mined a second time

Identifying mine waste materials as economic resources will help support global demand for critical metals, boosting the mining industry during the downturn. All with environmental benefits.
A company’s homepage will tell you more about its core values than any “social responsibility” statement. Brian A. Johnson/Shutterstock.com

A simple greenwash detection tip: check what the firm puts on its homepage

Do companies really mean it when they talk about being socially responsible? Judging by their mission statements and homepages, it seems increasingly that resources firms do, but many retailers don't.
Could municipal biosolids be a trove of tiny treasure? Heather Lowers, USGS Denver Microbeam Laboratory

Mining for metals in society’s waste

Mining waste rock from historic mines or even treated sewage to find useful metals and minerals could be a sustainable way to meet demand for these finite resources.
A cleaner walks past a promotional poster at an Africa Development bank meeting in Shanghai. Western perceptions of China’s investments in Africa are off the mark. Reuters/Nir Elias

Shedding fresh light on China’s investment choices in Africa

Contrary to Western views, China is in Africa for business. Between 1998 and 2012, about 2000 Chinese firms invested in 49 countries on the African continent.
Saudi workers have been given a pay bonus by their new king, but unless oil prices rebound the country will find itself eating into its US$750 billion sovereign nest egg. EPA/Ali Haider

Black oil, red budgets: how long can Gulf states endure low prices?

In his first royal decree, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned King Salman announced two-month bonuses for state employees, pensioners, students, and recipients of social service programs (that is, everyone in…
Motorists in the United States and elsewhere have been treated to low prices. Whether they will bounce back is another question. EPA/CJ Gunther/AAP

Energy firms are waging a price war they might be unable to win

Late in 2014, we saw iron ore and coal prices fall. Now we are seeing oil prices tumble, dipping to less than US$50 a barrel, half the price of a year ago. In all cases, these price collapses reflect the…
China and the US have announced new climate change targets. China says emissions will peak around 2030. Rolex Dela Pena/AAP

US–China emissions deal will put pressure on Australian growth

While most of the world is celebrating the US–China pact on climate change, the deal puts pressure on the Australian government and resources companies to rethink relations with China. The deal, signed…
Australian coal needs to find some new customers. Stephen Codrington/Wikimedia Commons

China’s war on pollution could leave Aussie coal out in the cold

China’s recent move to limit imports of the dirtiest coal from 2015 onwards is a scary prospect for Australian miners. The proposed restrictions will ban the burning of coal with high levels of ash or…

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