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Matt Mckenzie

Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on projects, energy, agribusiness, small business, employment relations, manufacturing and economics. He completed bachelor of arts and bachelor of economics degrees at the University of Western Australia, majoring in political science and international relations, economics, and money and banking. He was formerly president of the UWA Student Guild, where he introduced the first private catering outlets on campus, and has worked at a leading financial services company.

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If you need to get in touch with me anonymously or through an encrypted service, you can contact me on Wickr at mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

FIRB tick for Cloncurry

Altona Mining has received Foreign Investment Review Board approval for a subsidiary of Chinese company Sichuan Railway Investment Group to invest more than $US200 million to set up its Cloncurry copper project in Queensland.

Africa-focused miners in $29m of raisings

Amani Gold has signed a memorandum of understanding with a little-known Chinese investment group to raise $25 million via a share issue to fund drilling at the Giro Gold project in the Congo.

Environmental tick for Pilbara's Pilgangoora

Pilbara Minerals has been given a final environmental tick for its Pilgangoora lithium project, and is now cleared for construction, but the company will be continuing work on project financing.

Quintis smashed by contract loss

Shares in sandalwood supplier Quintis were down 44 per cent today after the company admitted it had lost a contract supplying Nestle five months ago, the second issue relating to a contract this year.

Zenith to pursue renewable power for resources

Shares in Zenith Energy were up 10 per cent to 55 cents after the remote generation operator listed on the ASX today, with the company planning to use the $25 million it raised to move into renewables and microgrid technology.

Locals in lithium contract wins

Three contractors have won work for Altura Mining’s planned $140 million Pilgangoora lithium mine, as the company continues work to secure debt financing for the project.

Flinders chasing $16m

Flinders Mines is seeking to raise $16 million to advance its Pilbara iron ore project, with the company needing to fund further work to progress the mine to feasibility stage.

After F1, Malaysia targets Supercars

Perth motorsport enthusiasts may soon have the opportunity to venture to Malaysia to watch V8 supercar racing, as the country seeks new opportunities after hosting what will be its final Formula One grand prix at Sepang later this year.

Blackham takes next step on expansion

The first stage of an expansion plan to double capacity at the Wiluna gold project would cost about $25 million, according to a preliminary study undertaken by Blackham Resources.

Growing quality seafood in its natural Abitat

The aquaculture and fisheries industries are both attracting investor interest as businesses float significant growth plans.

Industry group backs private sector on renewables

The WA Independent Power Association has called for the state government to block a plan by public generator Synergy to set up a new renewable energy fund, while supporting a move to reduce Synergy’s capacity.

Next step for Sandfire, Talisman’s Monty

Resources hopeful Talisman Mining has secured a $23 million debt financing agreement to fund the Monty copper and gold project which is to be built in a joint venture with Sandfire Resources.

Creatives trade on China links

North Fremantle-based fashion label Empire Rose is one of three local brands to have secured deals in China in recent weeks, following the Fashion Council WA’s partnership with its Chinese counterpart.

Austal to Adelaide in naval work pursuit

Henderson-based shipbuilder Austal will open an Adelaide office for shipbuilding design and project management as it seeks to win a $3 billion federal government contract to build 12 new offshore patrol vessels.

WA export trend is on the up

Merchandise exports from Western Australia were up 35.4 per cent in March compared with that same month in 2016, as a clear trend emerges of improving trade figures for the state.

Rossair refines flight plan

South Australian charter airline Rossair Charter Services is making a push into Western Australia, as it refines operations following the recent acquisition of Perth-based Ad Astral Aviation.

Automotive sector drives attraction to rare earths

SPECIAL REPORT: A pilot plant for WA’s second rare earth metals mine is helping broaden the state’s resources horizons.

Metalicity refloats Admiral Bay plan

SPECIAL REPORT: West Perth-based junior Metalicity is developing a plan to take the Admiral Bay zinc deposit in the Canning Basin to production, two years after the project was bought from the collapsed Kagara Mining.

Gold, lithium driving new mines investment

SPECIAL REPORT: The value of investment into WA gold projects is about four times as much as this time last year, while growth in spending on lithium has been even more substantial.

Environmental liability changes needed: Johnston

The state government has proposed changes to the Corporations Act to deal with mining companies that avoid their environmental obligations.

Miners mastering rehab ‘magic’

A team of local researchers is taking the next step in a program analysing the use of chemicals in smoke to grow seeds for mine rehabilitation.

Job apps target a mobile workforce

Students and hospitality workers are the key cohorts first targeted by new mobile apps GoCasual and Squaddle, both of which have been developed by Perth startups.

Chevron loses $340m tax appeal

Chevron Australia has lost its appeal of a 2015 Federal Court ruling regarding the company’s financial and taxation relationship with its US parent, although the company has not ruled out a High Court appeal.

Super pit deal falls through

The Chinese company angling to buy a 50 per cent stake in the Kalgoorlie super pit has reportedly dropped the $US1.3 billion bid due to more rigid Chinese controls on capital outflows, while its bid to buy Southern Cross gold mine owner Hanking Australia has been completed.

Woodside continues Pluto expansion pursuit

Woodside Petroleum has engaged contractors to develop concept options for an expansion of the Pluto LNG facility for consideration as early as mid-year, while reporting an 11 per cent drop in March quarter revenue on the back of adverse weather and inventory build up.

Ore fall a big dent to budget

The dramatic fall in the price of iron ore since the start of March could punch a $1.4 billion hole in the state’s finances in the next financial year.

Ship spending to trigger apprentice uptake

SPECIAL REPORT: Henderson shipbuilders have plans to put on hundreds of apprentices as billions of dollars in naval investment is expected in the next few years.

Stochastic to be sold by receivers

Oil and gas software developer Stochastic Simulation is expected to be put up for sale, two weeks after it was put into receivership. 

Unis’ post-boom hangover

The two-speed economy that hampered Western Australia during the peak years of the mining boom continues to linger in sectors where labour markets lack flexibility.

West could lag next boom wave

Western Australian workers would have the most to lose of any state from a major downturn in China and the least to gain from a major growth in services exports, according to new modelling from Deloitte, but an increased openness to investment opportunities might bring an upside in both scenarios.

Taxi tax could be admin headache

A taxi levy to buy back plates could be a major administrative headache for the sector and punish more efficient players, according to Ingogo chief executive Hamish Petrie.

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WA returns to growth as Australia avoids recession

GDP has bounced back from a poor showing in the September quarter with December quarter seasonally adjusted growth of 1.1 per cent, while Western Australia snapped a five quarter streak of shrinking state demand to grow 0.4 per cent.

Financial probe for student union

The University of Western Australia Student Guild has dismissed a staff member over financial irregularities after bringing in forensic accountants from BDO to undertake a special analysis of its 2013 accounts.

Warning to Uber moonlighters

Uber drivers using the service as a supplementary income should declare it to their primary employer, according to Minter Ellison partner Kathy Reid, after a driver who had worked during sick leave lost an unfair dismissal claim.

Property player tops 40u40

Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne was last night named the 2016 Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals, ahead of a talented and diverse field of candidates.

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McGowan to cancel Roe 8

The Roe 8 road project will be cancelled if the Labor Party wins the upcoming state election, opposition leader Mark McGowan said today, even though the government has already signed a contract for construction, with $236 million of funding to be re-allocated to three alternative roads.

Nalder makes fresh freight link pitch

Transport Minister Dean Nalder has highlighted the social benefits of Roe 8 and touted the minimal environmental impact of the project at a lunch today, adding that the link would need to be built regardless of any move to an outer harbour.

Green light for Kwinana lithium plant

A $400 million lithium processing plant to be built in Kwinana has got the green light, with West Perth company MSP Engineering to act as head contractor.

Feds back unconventional drilling

Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said the federal government would be pushing states to remove moratoriums on unconventional gas extraction, including fracking, he told the LNG 18 conference today.