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Saskia Pickles

Saskia Pickles worked as a journalist at Business News from June 2013 to March 2016. 

Analytics hone online appeal

Small businesses in the resources sector, which have traditionally relied on reputation and word-of-mouth to secure work, are dipping their toe in a growing pool of SMEs embracing sophisticated online marketing.

Perth onside with top NRL players

Two recent key appointments to the National Rugby League have dramatically increased the chances of Perth becoming home to a fifth elite football team.

China story has years to run

Western Australian companies wanting to do business with China will need to modify their approach to deal with increasing competition and a changing marketplace, a leading advisory firm has warned.

First Solar in Freo power station deal

US-based company First Solar is a step closer to building a 10-megawatt power station in Fremantle, beating seven other hopefuls to meet the council’s hopes for a large-scale solar farm at a former rubbish dump.

CBH solar investment biggest of its kind in WA

CBH Group is set to invest $1.1 million in solar energy, commissioning Energy Made Clean to engineer and build power stations at three of its facilities across the state.

Curtin spin-off wins $5m biofuels grant

A Curtin University spin-off company has been awarded $5.2 million in a federal grant to develop a biofuel project that has the potential to reduce diesel costs in rural areas.

Net loss for mid-tier iron ore miners

Atlas Iron and BC Iron have both reported big losses following impairments and a race to cut costs as iron ore prices remain depressed.

WA Skills Training signs multimillion dollar Malaysian deal

WA Skills Training has secured an estimated $2 million per year deal with the Malaysian government to deliver training for both Malaysians and Australians seeking work on major resource projects.

Mining M&A to pick up: EY

The financial incentives for higher cost mid-tier miners to either share infrastructure or merge is at an all-time high, according to accounting firm EY.

Balamara gives up on listing

The board at Balamara Resources took drastic action last week in light of the dramatic fall in the company’s share price during the past 12 months, with managing director Mike Ralston announcing the intention to de-list from the ASX.

Minotaur bullish about potential

There's a flipside to being undervalued, according to Minotaur Exploration managing director Andrew Woskett, whose business has a $21 million market cap.

Hangover for junior miners - SPECIAL REPORT

Standout junior explorers are finding investors for their mining projects, while others are cutting back on exploration and development to counteract a tough corporate finance market and increased government fees.

BHP’s Ningaloo reef research plan

BHP Billiton and CSIRO have announced they will spend $5 million over five years in a partnership to increase the scientific community’s understanding of the Ningaloo Reef.

Council to set direction on clean energy

The state’s new peak body for renewable energy and energy efficiency, which emerged after the collapse of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia last year, is set to establish its leadership

Investors in, but not welded-on to steel plant

An institutional investor and a group of ultra high-net-worth individuals have taken a punt each way on a multi-billion dollar steel project.

TSG seeks to consult beyond mine sector

Resources-focused TSG Consulting has embarked on a diversification and expansion plan in response to a growing demand from companies trying to unlock the secrets of big data.

Mid West miner signs rail deals

Chinese-backed iron ore miner Top Iron has signed contracts with Brookfield Rail and Aurizon as it prepares to ship its first exports from Geraldton by March.

Imdex expects exploration to pick up

Shares in drilling services company Imdex jumped today on news of some financial success during challenging times for the exploration sector.

APPEA turns up heat in domgas dispute

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has hit back at claims that members of the DomGas Alliance have supply concerns amid ongoing uncertainty over the North West Shelf joint marketing agreement.

Balamara to delist from ASX

Balamara Resources has announced plans to delist from the Australian Securities Exchange after citing the high cost of maintaining its listing and an inability to raise new capital.

Goodline fills O’Rourke hole at Roy Hill

Queensland-based contractor Goodline has been brought onto the Roy Hill iron ore project to finish work left incomplete following the termination of Laing O’Rourke’s $200 million plus contract earlier this week.

Sandfire goes solar

Sandfire Resources, the company that was famously targeted last year in a fossil fuel divestment campaign, is planning a $40 million renewable energy power station at its DeGrussa mine in Western Australia.

Sponsors play to the crowd

Recently crowned Big Bash League champions, Perth Scorchers, have secured nearly three times the sponsorship dollars this year compared with last year on the back of two tournament wins in successive seasons.

Gas sales an uncertainty

The North West Shelf’s six joint venture partners have yet to declare their hand as a deadline for ending their joint gas marketing agreement draws near.

Facing WA's gender challenge

Some of the prominent Perth businesswomen who are succeeding in male-dominated industries outline the strategies that have worked for them.

Solar thermal project heats up again

Plans for a $15 million renewable power station originally slated for a council in the state’s Mid West have been redeveloped for use at a Western Australian mine.

ZBB lays down marker on hybrid power

Perth-founded energy company ZBB Energy Corporation is banking its future on business and industry worldwide adopting hybrid energy systems.

Building opportunities in affordable housing

When a prepared site was converted into the 77-apartment Adara complex near Cockburn in just 11 days late last year, the ‘potential’ for modular construction techniques in Perth became a reality.

Ecocentric aims to cut power costs

A Bentley-based energy consulting firm that purports to save between 10 and 26 per cent on electricity bills is getting more work in the UK and Europe than Australia because those countries have regulations mandating big business carry out energy audits.

Energy innovators seek edge with technology - SPECIAL REPORT

Some enterprising WA companies are flying under the radar with clean technology business ideas. We highlight local innovations in several fields.

MinRes rails against port charges

Mid-tier iron ore miner Mineral Resources has criticised port charges after digging into its stockpiles to export 2.8 million tonnes in the December quarter.

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Karratha gas plant breakdown

Western Australia’s biggest and most productive gas production facility suffered an equipment failure early this morning.

Unpoliced safety statistics questioned

The resource sector’s safety record has been brought into doubt after a contractor was crushed while working at a liquefied natural gas plant and hospitalised, but the incident was not recorded as a lost-time injury.

Perth businessman to run for lord mayor

Engineer, entrepreneur and restaurateur Michael O’Hanlon has declared he will run for the position of Perth lord mayor at the October election, based on an ambitious three-point economic plan for the city.

City of Perth axes CEO

City of Perth chief executive Gary Stevenson has been sacked, three years into a five-year contract, following a horror year for the council.

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Synergy boss ups ante on energy reform

Synergy chairman Lyndon Rowe has mapped out a detailed agenda for energy market reform, saying there would be catastrophic consequences if the government did not tackle market players with vested interests.

Perth gets modular building factory

A UK company has joined forces with a Perth projects and contract management group to set up the state’s first manufacturing business dedicated to modular building.

Coles, IGA complete store swap

Independent grocery group Metcash is set to finalise its first store swap in Western Australia with supermarket giant Coles.

Female tradie business to expand to Perth

An all-female plumbing business, the Plumbettes, is set to expand its operations from its Brisbane base into Western Australia.